The Second Phase of Grimshaw's Work at the Station
There has always been a gentle slope from Paddington Green down to the area which is now Praed Street. When the Paddington Arm of the canal snaked its way into Paddington through empty fields, it followed the 100 foot contour round the hill between these two places. It then turned sharp left to find a large, flat area on which to build the Basin. Because of this slope of the hill, Paddington Basin has always been perched well above Praed Street.
When Brunel brought in his railway lines to Paddington from the West Country, they were lower down the hill and almost hidden from view. The road system then had to adapt and travel across both canal and rail on bridges. In 1970 Westway cut through the area high above everything else. Thus the traffic is naturally at several different levels and this will be used in the new plan to give coherence to traffic flow.
The Extended Station and its Relationship to Local Road, Pedestrial and Canal Travel
This model of the planned station shows how the natural railway, pedestrian/ canal, and the road levels have been used to produce a coherent travel system. The non-Brunel Span 4, a shed built in 1916, is to be removed and replaced by a new vaulted undercroft at the station level, with provision of extra rail tracks. Lofty concrete vaults inspired by cathedral architecture will support new office and public development above station level, by using the air-rights of the former Span 4.