Effective project management is just as important as innovative design and product development, particularly when working with large companies. So when London Underground asked us to design an electrical trunking and cable management system for its deep tube stations, we first opened a dialogue between the different departments involved, not only to get all the parties to agree the specification, but also to ensure that the organisation as a whole felt that everyone involved had been able to make a significant contribution to the brief and that they 'owned' the concept from the outset.
The question facing the design team was how to install modern technology in old and sometimes listed buildings with no space to conceal services such as lighting, PA, surveillance, power and communications - which must all be cable segregated.
Service engineering time on the Underground system is restricted to 4 hours per night, so it was vital that installation and future maintenance could be done quickly and easily.
Goodwin's solution keeps the impact on the building fabric to a minimum by concealing electrical cables and hardware in simple 'floating' architectural elements that complement a variety of building styles and do not damage the interior finishes. The modular construction allows most complex manufacture and assembly to be done off site in the factory, so quality control is better and the units can be quickly and accurately installed during overnight work periods.
As the project evolved, we organised the production and development of first timber and card models, then steel prototypes, with sample lighting rigs, to check the illumination standards and quality, visual effect and accessibility, within a disused LUL station. We then supplied all the technical engineering drawings required for contractors to quote for the contract and to supply and install the finished product.
"The Goodwin approach to practical and lateral thinking has produced designs for us that not only solve complex problems in the most logical way, but also provide elegant solutions of great visual simplicity." Christopher Nell (Design Manager - Environments, London Transport)