Major boost for south west London with Solum’s Twickenham Gateway scheme

1 November 2022

With the capacity to handle thousands of daily commuters and tens-of-thousands of rugby matchday passengers regularly bound for nearby Twickenham Stadium, the recently completed station now provides smooth transit for the largest crowds.

To complement the new station, the surrounding area has been revitalised with new bars, restaurants, along with retail and residential units which form the striking Twickenham Gateway development. Centred around a public plaza, the new amenities look set to become a popular addition to this bustling south west London town centre location. The Rolfe Judd Architecture-designed project will improve links to other transport modes, and offer a new riverside walk along the adjacent River Crane, running from the station to Moormead Park.

Following over a decade of negotiation and consultation with Network Rail, the residential element of Solum’s Twickenham Gateway scheme is nearing its conclusion. Block A is now available to purchase with Block B coming on the market in Spring 2020, providing a range of high-quality homes in this sought-after location and offering prospective residents direct access to the station.

With 91 units available across Block A and B, 30 more will follow upon the completion of Block C. The one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments will offer stunning views across Twickenham through floor-to-ceiling glazing, with units also benefitting from balconies and outside spaces. Featuring a crisp, modern aesthetic, interior designs will showcase open plan living and be punctuated by luxury bathrooms and sleek kitchens.

Since 2009, our team has provided civil and structural engineering and geo-environmental contaminated land services for Twickenham Gateway and Twickenham station. Throughout this period, we have worked closely with architects, Rolfe Judd, principal contractor, Osborne, and client, Solum, to overcome the numerous logistical challenges presented by building over a busy station and live rails.

Our initial involvement with the scheme began by providing engineering input for the station itself, starting with the deck over the existing rail lines and buildings. Richard Papworth, Waterman Structure’s Board Director, who has been involved with the scheme from the outset, says; “We utilised offsite manufacturing in the design and construction of the deck to reduce the impact of working in the ‘hazard zone’ next to the rail. This approach had multiple benefits, allowing us to complete complex works during short line possession periods, mitigate the health and safety risks and keep rail down-time to a minimum.”

Richard continues; “We also developed a construction sequence to allow piling and construction of in situ concrete pile caps during normal rail working hours to facilitate the installation of columns and the completion of the deck over the rail lines, all during rail possession time. Once the deck was completed, this then acted as the crash deck for the works above, which meant they could be carried out while the train lines were operating.”

To enable this, our team devised a series of ‘rail-locked mini-sites’ which were fully isolated from live rail and were Network Rail-compliant in terms of health and safety. In conjunction with specifying offsite-manufactured components wherever possible, this had a huge impact on the project programme, reducing durations for the structural elements and saving three months on the overall construction programme.

Our team went on to design the structures interface with the new works, including the alterations to both the platforms and platform roof. Elsewhere, our engineers developed the design for below ground drainage, providing details for Under Track Crossings (UTX) and producing the methodology for the works to suit Network Rail’s requirements. Throughout the redevelopment, we worked with Network Rail to identify the construction process and sequencing for the whole scheme, allowing construction to take place during both normal working hours and rail possessions.

With the station now in operation and the residential elements of the project drawing to a close, Richard says; “I’m extremely proud to see Twickenham Gateway nearing its conclusion, having worked on this scheme personally for over a decade. To bring the project to this point has been a challenging process, following several years of consultation with Network Rail on the design over the live rail line and station. The years of detailed collaboration it has taken to deliver this project makes its forthcoming completion a major achievement for all involved.”

Completion of Twickenham Gateway Block A and B is anticipated in Summer 2020, followed by Block C in March 2021.