Foreign Office Architects is close to securing the contract to provide concept designs for the £600m redevelopment of Birmingham New Street station, writes Dan Stewart.

The British-based firm is in the last two, along with Dutch architect UN Studio, in the race to redesign Birmingham’s main transport hub. FOA has already been commissioned by Network Rail to design the £1bn Euston station refurbishment.

FOA’s best-known work is also a transport hub, the Yokohama International Port Terminal in Japan, completed in 2002.

UN Studio’s most high-profile commission is the Mercedes-Benz museum in Stuttgart.

The two have emerged from a shortlist that included Rafael Viñoly Architects, Peter Cook’s practice Crab Studio, Australian firm Lab Architecture and Idom from Spain.

The winner will design the station’s exterior and an atrium. Delivery architect BDP and lead consultant Atkins will flesh out designs for the rest of the development.

The winner will design birmingham new street station’s exterior and a new atrium

The plans to renew Birmingham New Street have a long and troubled history. An original scheme drawn up in 2005 by John McAslan + Partners with WSP was scaled back in August 2007, when the government said it would only give £128m towards the station’s funding, rather than the £350m requested.

But in February this year, just as the government announced it would be putting forward £400m to transform the station, McAslan and WSP were dropped in favour of BDP and Atkins. The concept design shortlist was revealed soon after.

Balfour Beatty, Carillion and Mace are vying to become Network Rail’s partner to build the scheme, which will handle up to 52 million passengers a year.