JLE glazing problems prompt £72m Wembley Park Station designer to consider alternatives.
The architect of the £72m Wembley Park Station is considering using toughened laminated glass because of safety fears over the glazing used at Jubilee Line Extension stations.

Pascall + Watson Architects, which is working on the design with engineer Ove Arup & Partners, said the extra-strong glass would overcome concerns about the safety of glazing on public projects.

Pascall + Watson design director Henry Simmons said there were problems with both laminated glass and toughened glass.

He said: “If you combine the two, perhaps that might be the answer. We are acutely aware of this as a problem.”

The move follows calls from the Health and Safety Executive for toughened glass panels on the JLE stations to be replaced after a panel at Stratford Station fell and shattered.

Simmons’ view was backed by WS Atkins glass expert Barry Smith, who said he would always use toughened laminated glass in public places.

Smith said: “The glass provides strength and integrity. When it’s broken, the glass is held in place rather than shattering.”

The Wembley Park redevelopment, due to start on site in mid 2001, was granted planning permission by Brent council last week, at the same time as the National Stadium.

The station will include the construction of two concourses, one for commuters and one for the stadium. It will handle 50 000 passengers an hour.

Simmons said the station design team had concentrated on balancing the needs of commuters and football fans.

He said: “Although the two are linked, we want the concourses to share the volume of traffic. We don’t want commuters to be trampled by stadium goers.”

Simmons said the team would try to emulate the standard of design of the Jubilee Line Extension. He said: “They have set the benchmark. We have got to achieve that standard, but not necessarily in that form.”

The redevelopment, due for completion in 2004, includes two levels of roof designed to drain rain from the building’s perimeter. It will require the demolition of all the existing areas of the station.

Other consultants on the design team include QS Franklin + Andrews, services engineer London Underground JNP and acoustics expert Sharps Redmore Partnership.

Earlier phases of the redevelopment included the partial reconstruction of the stadium staircase and the construction of the train crew accommodation building.