It is heartening to see projects such as the Vienna Central Railway Station. Infrastructure, particularly transport, is an obvious key for us all as the economy recovers.
The movement of large numbers of people has always been a challenge that was managed in quite a magnificent way by the Victorians with their grand railway stations. The recent restoration of King’s Cross and St Pancras is testament to their prowess.
Vienna Central Station almost harks back to the Victorian era. The station is the centrepiece of a master-plan – similar to King’s Cross – that will rejuvenate the surrounding area. The station being only a small part of an individual journey.
Building for the long-term is also another aspect borrowed from the Victorians. The design of the roof structure ensured that the steel could be galvanized. By providing long-term protection this not only saves on the obvious maintenance costs for the steel but also has a number of secondary benefits: Less maintenance means less platform closures, which means less disruption. The other crucial but forgotten benefit is the lower health and safety risks for the workforce.
Best value, whole-life costs and sustainability should not just be statements or tick box requirements, we could all benefit if they become more of a reality within our built environment.