Luton DART

We acted as Architect and Lead Designers for VolkerFitzpatrick on two new stations as part of the £225m Direct Air-Rail Transit (DART). 

The Luton DART speeds passengers from Luton Airport to the mainline in under four minutes. It consists of two stations at each end of a 2.1km rail link, including a double-shuttle and a fully automated people-mover. The cable-driven system is designed using the latest system technology and design innovation, capable of operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 


Key details

Project name

Luton Dart 






Luton, UK 

Services provided:

- Architecture 

- Lead Designer 

- Drainage Engineering 

- Aviation Engineering 

- Landscape Architecture 

- Mechanical & Electrical Engineering 


Our 3D Revit software allowed the design team to quickly understand the key issues in the design and produce a fully coordinated BIM (Building Information Modelling) model that combined the main architectural, structural and services elements of the project into the design of both stations. 

Parkway station is constructed on a confined town centre site, and the early 3D BIM modelling of the station and its major components assisted the contractor in understanding how the build would be phased and the site set up. However, the reference designs highlighted to the team that they had only been developed in 2D, so the design team had to overcome some major coordination challenges. For example, the building layouts hadn't been properly coordinated with the structural grid. 

Luton Dart Axonometric


We supported the contractor and LLAL (London Luton Airport Ltd) by producing fully interactive VR (virtual reality) models for both stations using our VR software. These models enabled the contractor to better understand the challenges around the buildability on site, to brief the building teams in advance of starting the build, and to use for site inductions. The VR models were also shown to LLAL to visualise how the spaces would feel, how wayfinding signage would be best designed, and how advertising and retail space could be fully utilised. 

We assisted the contractor through the successful delivery of the blockwork package. This involved transposing the 2D service penetration information into the Revit model, highlighting and mitigating clashes, and delivering 3D design information to the on-site team carrying out the blockwork. This approach ensured that the programme was maintained, despite late client changes to the services strategy, which could have otherwise caused delays to the construction programme. 

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