Grand Central’s Stunning ETFE Atrium

New Street is the busiest railway station in the United Kingdom, outside London. As part of an on-going scheme to rejuvenate the city of Birmingham, the existing New Street station has been completely redeveloped and an additional section was added to meet the demands of 52 million rail passengers each year. Situated above New Street station is the Grand Central shopping center, which opened in September 2015. The center brings high-quality brands and fashion into the heart of the city. To provide a better experience for the people who shop at the center, as well as the people who work there, Vector Foiltec installed a large Texlon® ETFE atrium roof. The atrium is unlike any other, featuring unique design concepts in order to deliver functionality and aesthetics.

Adding an atria over buildings in general, especially on a large scale such as this one, can be difficult and challenging. But having 35+ years of experience in installing ETFE atriums, we successfully developed the initial concept.

Texlon® ETFE and Unique Design Concepts

Working closely with the client, architect, and engineers to develop the initial concept, we designed, fabricated and installed 2,830 m² of Texlon® ETFE. Furthermore, we installed the supporting steelwork for the station’s central atrium. Designed by the renowned AZPML (Alejandro Zaera-Polo & Maider Llaguno Architecture), the central ETFE atrium’s supporting steelwork mirrors the shape of the complex arrangement of train track points outside the station.

The large atrium is topped by seven domed skylights with a translucent Texlon® ETFE system. The curving aesthetic from the outside is continued into the interior. The Texlon® ETFE system is equipped with a partial print pattern that provides shading for optimized climate control while still retaining transparency. As a result, the overall effect allows the central area of Birmingham New Street station to be flooded with natural light.


Date 2015
Location Birmingham, United Kingdom
Sector Retail
Size 2,830 m²
Structure Steel
Type Roof
Architects AZPML (Alejandro Zaera-Polo & Maider Llaguno Architecture)

Expert Contact

Lyndon Clayton
Managing Director UK
The Texlon® ETFE covered atrium allows the mall to be flooded with natural light.
Our Texlon® ETFE system allows the mall to be flooded with natural light.
ETFE atrium at Grand Central Shopping Center
The supporting steelwork mirrors the shape of train tracks.
View from outside onto the ETFE atrium.
The Texlon® ETFE atrium at the Birmingham Grand Central Shopping Mall as viewed from outside.

All images of the ETFE atrium are copyright to © Sam Peach.

Why Texlon® ETFE? Why Vector Foiltec?

Our Texlon® ETFE system at the Grand Central shopping centre creates year-round shopping and entertainment experience. To keep people who shop and work there safe and protected against the heavy rain and snow, the Texlon® ETFE system withstands these weather conditions. That is thanks to the strong resilience of the ETFE foil we used.

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