Foster + Partners Crossrail Place - Canary Wharf, London

Foster + Partners,

Nigel Young,


Stations, Shopping Centers, Restaurants,


Wood, Metal,

Lighting Design,

In the new Canary Wharf Crossrail Station and shopping centre in London’s Canary Wharf is designed by Foster + Partners, an unusual shell-shaped roof covers the whole building, with a number of openings in the middle part to permit natural irrigation of the rooftop garden and provide panoramic views on the sides.

Foster + Partners Crossrail Place - Canary Wharf, London

Foster + Partners’ Canary Wharf Crossrail Station is part of one of Europe’s biggest infrastructure projects, incorporating 9 new stations and 42 km of new tunnels crossing under the city of London from east to west.

The seven-level building includes not only the station but a shopping centre and a rooftop garden and restaurant . The garden and the roof are what make the project truly unusual, for the roof made of glulam beams with special steel nodes creating triangular modules winds around the entire building like a shell. The modules support ETFE or ethylene-tetra-fluoro-ethylene panels, which are lighter than glass and provide high-performance insulation to create the perfect microclimate for the garden below.
The microclimatic conditions on the roof permit species from other countries to grow in the garden, paying homage to the history of the site, the docks abandoned in the 1980s where the British built their merchant ships in the 19th century. Use of wood in the roof not only recalls the site’s naval past but establishes a natural contrast with the steel and glass skyscrapers of Canary Wharf, helping create a relaxing, peaceful atmosphere in the park which contrasts with the frantic pace of life in the city.

(Agnese Bifulco)

Architect: Foster + Partners
Collaborating Architect: Adamson Associates
Structural Engineer: Arup
M+E Engineer: Arup
Landscape Architect: Gillespies
Lighting Engineer: Maurice Brill Lighting Design

Location: London, UK

Images courtesy of WAF, World Architecture Festival, photo by Nigel Young Foster + Partners