The line that ate London: our critic's verdict on the £15bn Crossrail colossus
With its cavernous passageways, 200-metre trains and district-engulfing stations, Crossrail is a momentous architectural endeavour. But will passengers just see a blur of beige?
A gaping white trumpet flares open at the bottom of the escalator at Liverpool Street station, ready to suck commuters into another dimension. The smooth concrete panels splay out to meet walls of faceted, enamelled steel, beneath a roof that zig-zags back and forth in angular waves, as if the whole space has been disturbed by whatever force lies beyond the great portal.
It is a fittingly momentous entrance, given that this dilated Anish Kapoor-style orifice leads to the parallel universe of Crossrail. Deep below the streets of London, the £15.4bn infrastructure project has burrowed out a world of vast streamlined passages and immensely long platforms lit by digital displays, promising to whisk you from the City to Paddington in 10 minutes, or to the towers of Canary Wharf in just six.
The urge to banish clutter makes it slick and precise – but you feel like you’re trapped in a computer simulation
Ilford is to receive a gigantic grey-and-glass box that has all the finesse of an out-of-town storage depot
Source: Guardian Transport