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Ciaran Scannell

MA work

The 18th Mile of HS2

In 2024, HS2 Ltd will drill 17km below the streets of London... It will now drill 18km.

This new fraction will become a sequence of subterranean cultural spaces – ‘cultural infrastructure’ - accommodating swimming pools, an archaeological museum and climaxing in the new home to the London Symphony Orchestra.

Existing below the Regent’s Park Estate, the project is formed from the spatial possibilities of the Tunnel Boring Machine and is composed of three distinct spaces, which bulb and branch similar to muscle tendons. This new language of the subterranean draws on historical precedent of sub-surface structures yet reimagines it around the potential of a 7.1m diameter cylinder. The concrete shell formed by the drill is then treated almost as a ruin into which a lightweight steel structure delicately sits to navigate and make habitable this fantastical world.

Beyond a formal experimentation, the project is proposing an alternative way of thinking about the provision of cultural amenity in London to completely re-imagine the potential of the subterranean as a new frontier for the cities growth.


  • MA Degree


    School of Architecture


    MA Architecture, 2016

  • Degrees

  • BA Architecture, Mackintosh School Of Architecture, 2013
  • Experience

  • Architectural assistant, Carmody Groarke, London, 2015; Architectural assistant, Maccreanor Lavington Architects, London, 2014; Architectural assistant, James Gorst Architects, London, 2013
  • Exhibitions

  • Barbara Hepworth: Sculpture for a Modern World, Tate Britain, London, 2015
  • Awards

  • Sheppard Robson Design Award, 2013; Glasgow Institute Of Architects Design Award, 2012