Elizabeth line – A work of art
Assembly of the first work of art being integrated into the Elizabeth line is underway as the first panes of glass have been fixed into place on the 120 metre long canopy at Paddington station.
A Cloud Index, designed by critically acclaimed artist Spencer Finch and funded by Heathrow and the City of London Corporation, is a cloudscape that has been printed onto the glazed roof of the new Elizabeth line station, making it one of the largest permanent art works ever created in the capital.
Finch has hand-drawn 60 original pastels that combine to create a unique collage of clouds, that when printed onto the transparent canopy will appear to change according to the light, weather and the time of day.
Given its unprecedented length, visitors will see the artwork in a new way depending on what way they enter, leave or move through the station.
The canopy, which appears to float above the platforms 25 metres below ground, is a steel grid that holds 220 bespoke glass panels, each one weighing over a tonne. The hand drawn scene will be ‘painted’ onto 180 of the panels using ceramic dot matrix printing that not only creates the image, but also reduces solar glare into the station.
Major works of public art are being integrated into many of the new Elizabeth line stations as part of the Crossrail Art Programme – a line-wide exhibition designed to reflect the ambition of London’s newest railway and the communities it serves. The artwork at Paddington was selected by the Crossrail Art Foundation supported by an advisory Round Table in collaboration with Lisson Gallery and station architects Weston Williamson.
An estimated 25 million passengers a year are expected to use Paddington Elizabeth line station when services through central London begin in December 2018.
The total funding available to deliver Crossrail is £14.8bn. The Crossrail route will pass through 41 stations and run more than 100km from Reading and Heathrow in the west, through new twin-bore 21 km (13 miles) tunnels below central London to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east. Crossrail is being delivered by Crossrail Limited (CRL). CRL is a wholly owned subsidiary of Transport for London. Crossrail is jointly sponsored by the Department for Transport and Transport for London.