Network Operations Centre, London Underground Ltd 2009

Note: security necessarily limits the extent we can discuss & illustrate this project.

The London Underground serves 270 stations and has 402 kilometres (250 mi) of track, making it the second largest metro system in the world in terms of route miles, after the Shanghai Metro. It also has one of the largest numbers of stations. In 2007, more than one billion passenger journeys were recorded, making it the third busiest metro system in Europe, after Moscow and Paris. The tube is an international icon for London, with it’s systems having influenced many other metros worldwide.

By 2009 the existing LUL Central control room facility (the NOC), designed by Richard Rogers and Partners in the 1990’s, no longer provided the ambience, environmental control and facilities required to meet the needs for World Class Excellence in Control for LUL.

NOC sm the completed project (inception illustration above)

Replacement of this function, at the heart of London Underground’s operational running, involved complex programming (the NOC is a 24/7 operation) to ensure continuity of service, and careful co-ordination of design work within the parameters of ongoing operational use and existing spatial constraints.

The end user group, aware of the then current limitations, had high expectations and many complex requirements; as such the new Facilities were designed to meet Centre for Protection of National Infrastructure guidelines.

Extensive Human Factors design was incorporated into the design of the control room from the outset and security, resilience, threat and vulnerability comprised critical design factors in this unique installation.

WPA provided full architectural design and lead consultancy services. Needless to say design had to be spot on before reaching site given that the main phase of this NEC contract was compressed within an eight week programme to minimise operational disruption.

NOC int sm

a computer generated visualisation (from the inception phase)