21 November 2023
The upgraded Gatwick Airport station opens today (Tuesday 21 November 2023), completely transforming the passenger experience from train to plane and plane to train for one of the country’s busiest stations.

The new-look station, designed by SYSTRA experts, is brighter and more intuitive for passengers with a new concourse and airport entrance (pictured), doubling the space for the millions of people who pass through each year.

Gatwick Airport train station was originally built in 1958 to accommodate between 5-10 million passengers per year, and today serves over 20 million passengers. This rise has led to crowded and often chaotic conditions on the platform and at ticketing booths. With Gatwick Airport’s target to increase the share of passengers arriving by train from 42% to 50% by 2040, a complete station transformation was needed.

SYSTRA was appointed by construction company Costain in 2016 to lead the architecture, design and engineering of the much-needed improvements for the Network Rail-owned station. SYSTRA’s architecture team managed the station design from early concept through its formal planning approval and final detailed design.

In addition to ensuring the station could continue to function during the work, they faced challenges around creating new space, improving the passenger experience and safety, relocating train crew offices, and incorporating better use of natural light.

The finished design features a second concourse and airport entrance, with eight new escalators, five new lifts, four new stairways, and widened platforms.

Nick Salt, CEO, SYSTRA, said, “Putting the passenger experience at the fore, the SYSTRA architecture team have excelled in designing an upgraded Gatwick Airport station that will help make journeys in to and out of the airport much smoother. The extra space and functionality created are crucial to the targeted growth in rail journeys to the station, and our team of experts have ensured that sustainability and safety are built-in to the design. It’s great to see passengers using the new concourse and we’re proud to have worked with Network Rail and Costain on this crucial transport infrastructure project.”

We are thrilled to have led the design of the upgraded Gatwick Airport station, which will completely transform the passenger experience. The SYSTRA team rose to the challenge of working in a live station and airport environment, designing a stunning and functional space that will support more efficient, reliable and sustainable travel.

Jordan Gill, Principal Architect, SYSTRA Ltd

SYSTRA has been successfully delivering station architecture and design improvements for high-speed rail, conventional rail, metro and other mass transit projects around the world for over 70 years.

SYSTRA’s architecture team is currently working on HS2’s Old Oak Common Station, west London and has led the redevelopment of award-winning Reading Station and Leeds City Station.

Read the full case study on how we transformed the station at Gatwick Airport.

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