From design to delivery: changing perceptions of strategic transport corridors
We work at the heart of multi-disciplinary teams, to support the delivery of nationally significant transport corridors, from project initiation to construction.
We are rewriting what it means to design and build strategic transport corridor infrastructure, where national gain can sometimes cause local pain. Our creative team combines architecture, design, engagement and communication expertise to help deliver transport projects on time and on budget through proactive collaboration and strategic design.
Our holistic design approach reduces risk to budgets, projects and reputations by bridging the technical gaps between specialists and local communities. It weaves in people and landscapes, from concept to delivery. This creates positive perceptions of engineering projects, enhancing stakeholder buy-in through community-focused design, and reducing risks to programme delivery.
We are people, designing for people.
See how we add value
to your project
Reimagining the potential of industry design standards
Having worked with National Highways and Network Rail processes for 15 years, we understand project risk and opportunity and address them from the outset.
We know how to bring creative flair to animate your vision, steering the project around familiar challenges which happen when design is considered too late. Our experience has given us a talent for spotting early design opportunities – both for efficiencies that reduce project cost, and to meet local needs. This builds trust with the communities and stakeholders that our projects serve, resulting in maximum buy-in, minimal risk, and a streamlined process for you.
Strategy & Engagement
PCF stages 0-1 | PACE stages 1-2 | RIBA Plan of Work stages 0-1
As the project comes to life, it is vital to establish the objectives, hopes and fears of all those involved, and to clearly communicate these between parties. Knight Architects' keen sense of empathy bridges the gap between technical and lay audiences to align interests and smooth progress.
Case Study: Mersey Gateway Crossing
We were asked to develop the concept design for the Mersey Gateway with the structural engineer. As well as the estuary crossing, we defined architectural and landscape guidelines for the whole 9km corridor.
- The crossing is the longest in England, which presented numerous technical challenges
- The project involved major changes to the road network on both sides of the River Mersey, including in built-up areas and through areas of post-industrial decline
- The project was procured by the smallest public authority in the country, who then relied heavily on an expert team for more than 12 years
- The crossing spans the Mersey estuary, a complex and highly protected landscape of environmental importance
- The nearby Liverpool Airport placed height restrictions on the project
- Determine the aims of client and stakeholders to exercise creative judgement, articulate the regeneration potential of the project and free up capacity in the local network
- Work collaboratively with the client team, transforming their expectations into architectural form and securing buy-in from key stakeholders
- Defining guidelines for a contextual design approach driven by the surrounding environment and securing a compliant proposal from the bidding contractors
- Retained for a key role in the design and delivery stage, developing the solution through to planning approval (Transport & Works Act Order) and safeguarding the quality of the design through the delivery phase
- The project was celebrated with a royal opening by Her Majesty the Queen and the Duchess of Sussex in 2018
- It won the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) 200 Special Project Award for engineering excellence and was praised as a "phenomenal feat of engineering which has changed the local skyline"
- The project also won multiple industry awards in the sustainability and technical application categories
Options & Design
PCF stages 2-4 | PACE stage 3 | RIBA Plan of Work stages 1-4
The defining stage of the project, where the Client's aims and the expectations of stakeholders come together and are transformed into architectural form through the creative judgement of Knight Architects.
Case Study: A82 Tarbet to Inverarnan
We were asked to enable safer roads through creative design. Within this scope, we enhanced industry understanding of design centred on the user experience, developed as the Choreography of the Route.
- Severe topography and conservation designations within the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park
- Reducing journey times and increasing user safety without compromising on placemaking opportunities
- A fresh design approach that put the choreography of the route centre stage
- Broaden the design conversation by promoting the idea of 'destination' in conjunction with 'the journey'
- Separate the motivations and behaviours of active travel users from those of motorists, thereby uncoupling the two journeys from a design perspective, enabling more effective technical innovations in health and safety
- Aligned stakeholder and client interests, realising an innovative and cost-effective highway solution
- Successfully married aesthetics to user experience and safety within the design process
- Significantly enhanced the active travel experience without compromising motorists' journeys
Design & Delivery
PCF stages 5-6 | PACE stage 4 | RIBA Plan of Work stages 5-6
The detailed design and construction stage is where Knight Architects' specialist experience adds value, ensuring the ambition secured by the planning process is realised authentically, efficiently and cost effectively.
Case Study: A465 Heads of the Valleys
We worked with Atkins Jacobs JV and Costain on the 9km-long Section 2, which passes through the heavily designated environment of the Brecon Beacons National Park. Our role included concept, scheme and detailed designs, community engagement and securing stakeholder support for the numerous bridges and visual structures.
- Numerous environmental, scientific and historic designations, all set within a National Park, the UK’s highest environmental protection
- Multiple stakeholders, including three local authorities, national and local interest groups
- Complex and varied topography, with the highway climbing at 5% through the narrow gorge, and highly constrained project footprint
- Diverse range of bridge typologies and spans
- An approach guided by Stakeholder events and secured through independent DCfW Design Review
- A narrative approach based on the highway user experience, informed by direction and sequence of structures and landscape features
- Redesigning a major insitu stone-clad retaining wall to a prefabricated concrete solution with discrete stone features expressing the underlying geology
- Optimising the structures into a family of distinctive footbridges, with a landmark structure at Brynmawr, fulfilling the planning requirement for a ‘gateway’ feature
- An upgraded section of critical highway that respects its setting and brings opportunity for enjoyment of the wider landscape to all users
- Improved Active Travel opportunities for local people to access Brynmawr school, bus services and recreational trails
- Improvements to construction safety and quality due to prefabrication and MMC
Join the growing list of projects which have benefited from our expertise
- A9 Perth to Inverness
- A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon
- A27 Arundel Bypass
- A82 Tarbet to Inverarnan
- A303 Stonehenge (Amesbury to Berwick Down)
- A417 Missing Link
- A465 Section II
- Duisburg Rhein Bridge (DE)
- East Leeds Orbital Route
- Fehmarnsund Replacement Bridge (DE/DK)
- Highways England Air Quality Barrier
- HS2 Phases 1 & 2
- Input to Highways England's Design Manual for Roads & Bridges
- Interstate Bridge Replacement Program (USA)
- Lower Thames Crossing
- M2 Junction 5
- M4 Corridor around Newport
- Mersey Gateway Crossing