Modelling Canary Wharf station

This case study explores how 4D modelling has been used to understand the complexities of the new station being constructed at Canary Wharf.

A cross section of Canary Wharf Crossrail station
A cross section of Canary Wharf Crossrail station

Project details

Case study: Canary Wharf Crossrail Station, London England
Modelling consultants: Freeform 3D Ltd.
Project cost: £500m

The scale of the task

Canary Wharf will be one of the largest Crossrail stations. Construction of the Crossrail project began at North Dock in Canary Wharf in May 2009. The project reached the halfway point in 2014, when the organisation moved from major tunneling work to station fit-outs.

Crossrail services through central London start operating in 2018 when it will add 10% capacity to London's rail network, speeding up journeys and easing congestion for the travelling public. The station and proposed retail and park areas will be six stories high; approximately the size of One Canada Square laid on its side.

The station design incorporates two parts - a huge 256m-long station box sitting directly below a proposed over-site development. This includes plans for 100,000 square feet of retail space and a roof-top park and community facility, semi-covered by an elegant timber lattice roof.

Building the future

Building the new railway involves constructing eight new stations in central London and Docklands and upgrading many existing stations. Stretching from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west, across to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east, the new railway will cover over 100km of track including 21km of new twin-bore rail tunnel. The proposed roof will be made of translucent materials, letting the local community see, and encouraging them to visit, the new green space, shops, restaurants and facilities within.

Building the model

Freeform 3D Ltd was engaged to build and develop a full 4D model of the station, retail spaces and connections to existing buildings on the estate. It also attended site and programme co-ordination meetings, using the 4D model to review the works and develop the programme.

The model has been filtered to allow for exploding by floor level in order to communicate the floor-to-floor dependencies. Hoist locations, stairs, escalators, mole holes and service risers are all represented. The project also plugs in to a number of properties on the estate. These have all been modelled in Synchro Pro to assist in minimising disruption and optimising the sequence.

The interface with the Crossrail works has been fully realised and explored, increasing the understanding of the programme within the wider project team.

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