Until recently, surface access was inadequate and a maze of connecting tunnels linked the different lines in a haphazard way that made wayfinding difficult for passengers. The Bank Station Capacity Upgrade was a ten year initiative to design out these inadequacies and make a station fit for 21st Century travel and rising passenger numbers.
The first phase of this extensive scheme to be delivered included the creation of a new wider southbound platform for the Northern line. The existing platform tunnel has been converted into a wide concourse which, in addition to new direct links to the Central line and DLR platforms, eases congestion and provides better connectivity below ground.
The second phase, completing in Februrary 2023, saw the opening of a new station entrance on Cannon Street providing direct from the mainline station opposite; new lifts and escalators connecting the Northern line and DLR platforms to the streeet. A Transport and Works Act Order consents process was used to secure planning for TfL, enabled and de-risked by including designs for an oversite development over the new street level ticket hall. The orientation of the ticket hall onto Cannon Street responded to commuter data, whilst allowing the oversite development to have its address on adjacent King William Street, enhancing its projected market value.
The upgrade significantly eliminates congestion at the station and reduces passenger journey times by cutting interchange distances and creating intuitive wayfinding, with clear sightlines and the strategic use of colour blocks supporting signage – making the commute more appealing and creating confidence for new users.
The architecture is of two differentiated styles, the new Cannon Street entrance providing a contextually sensitive response, and the below ground areas designed to complement the wider London Underground brand, tunnelling construction methods and interfaces with the existing station areas, whilst giving architectural expression to the functional elements of the station.
The new station elevations incorporate Portland Stone echoing the materials of King William Street and the wider Bank Conservation Area, with the entrance celebrated as a generous portal onto Cannon Street. The internal space has a good floor to ceiling height with a scalloped soffit which creates an undulating plane within the ticket hall, accentuated by the lighting design; the eye is led towards the escalators and lifts down to the platform areas. The opening of this entrance completes the complex project, delivering a wealth of improvements to this major transport interchange and vital amenity for the City.