HS2 reveals design of "Bellingham" bridge in Birmingham

The "Bellingham” bridge is set to light up HS2’s gateway into Birmingham.

HS2 has revealed designs for a new truss bridge with a vibrant light installation which will bring high speed trains into central Birmingham.

A 150-metre section of viaduct is part of the approach to Birmingham’s new Curzon Street Station and will include a 25-metre-high truss which will create a new icon on the city’s skyline.

A unique light installation, designed by British artist Liz West, will introduce a dynamic colour palette to the apertures of the steel truss, framing views of the city. 

Titled Out of the Blue, the proposed artwork will establish the bridge as a new feature of the city’s landscape both during the day and at night, when the artwork will come to life.

The Curzon 2 bridge, which has been nicknamed “The Bellingham Bridge” by the team in honour of England superstar and Stourbridge-born Jude Bellingham’s performances at the World Cup, is the tallest structure in the sequence of viaducts and structures that make up the Curzon Street Approaches.

These approaches take HS2 into Birmingham’s new city centre station. 

HS2's design director Kay Hughes said: “Our design ambition for the Curzon 2 bridge is to create an elegant, iconic structure, fitting of its prominence on the Birmingham skyline, creating a legacy for HS2 and contributing positively to the city’s identity day and night.

“The curved truss design celebrates Birmingham’s industrial heritage, and we’re pleased that we’ve been able to engage a prominent artist to work with our architects to create a distinctive lighting installation, which will be a striking addition to Birmingham's city skyline."

The gently curved truss is 150-metres long and 25 metres tall. It will be assembled on the ground and then launched into its final position over the existing Victorian brick rail viaduct at around 17 metres above the ground, so the whole structure will be 40 metres high. 

HS2 trains will cross the truss bridge to leave the city towards HS2’s Washwood Heath Depot. 

The site, located north-east of Birmingham City Centre, will maintain, service and store HS2 trains when not in use, generating more than 500 long-term jobs for local people.

Acclaimed artist Liz West has worked across the UK and the world with organisations including the National Trust, Natural History Museum, London Design Festival and Natural England. She is based near Manchester with close family ties to Birmingham and knows the city and the West Midlands area well. 

The design for the Curzon Street Approaches section of HS2’s Phase One is being developed by a Design Joint Venture of Mott MacDonald and Systra and architects Weston Williamson + Partners, all working for HS2’s civils contractor Balfour Beatty VINCI joint venture.

Designs can be viewed at an engagement event on Thursday, December 15 from 4-7.30pm at West Midlands Fire Service’s HQ, 99 Vauxhall Road, Birmingham, B7 4HW. 

Click here to find out more about the event

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