Align Visitors Centre.
Design and build of a multimedia environment
Align is the joint venture of three international and privately-owned infrastructure companies; Bouygues Travaux Publics, a subsidiary of Bouygues Construction; Sir Robert McAlpine; and VolkerFitzpatrick, a subsidiary of VolkerWessels.
In July 2017, the Align joint venture were awarded the Central (C1) package of the High Speed 2 (HS2) Phase One. The C1 package covers 21.6km of the high-speed rail infrastructure. This challenging project includes a 3.37km viaduct, plus a 16.04km twin-bored tunnel with five ventilation shafts.
A complicated story which includes the construction of the longest tunnel and the longest viaduct on HS2 Phase One, requiring detailed communication to a wide range of stakeholder groups.
Welcome to the Align South Portal Visitors Centre. An experiential environment where school children, students, community groups, politicians and locals, alongside Align’s team members, can find out what the C1 package consists of, the challenges that lie ahead and the innovative engineering and comprehensive environmental solutions being implemented.
Using a blend of physical exhibition space with augmented reality and time lapse videos, the story is brought to life through the multidimensional Visitors Centre experience. Moving models and animated videos play a part in explaining the technical details of every stage of the project, married to interesting facts made easy to understand for the non-engineers.
The Visitor Centre has been designed to be experienced as a journey where each of the key elements of the C1 project are explained. These include: HS2 Phase One, the tunnels and tunnel boring machines, the tunnel ventilation shafts, the Colne Valley Viaduct, stakeholder engagement and environmental protection and habitat restoration.
Designed and built through the ‘lock down’ periods, the Visitors Centre opened on time and on budget. The feedback has been tremendous and it’s in constant use and visited by many schools, community groups, local dignitaries, the press and Align’s new team members as part of their induction process. Using the Visitors Centre the details of the technological engineering innovations, the high safety standards in place and the comprehensive care for the environment and communities surrounding this huge engineering project truly come alive.