I travel down to Kings Cross almost every week and for the past few years, I’ve become accustomed to getting off the train in the dark. The station has been under construction since 2005 and we’ve become accustomed to the station shrouded in plastic from top to bottom – not exactly the kind of welcome you’re looking for.
This is clearly an ambitious transformation because of the length of time and breadth of work underway – and I was desperately hoping it would be in the same league as the awesome St Pancras station, as I regularly use Kings Cross travelling to and from Yorkshire.
I needn’t have worried.
John McAslan and Partners intention was to create “a new, iconic architectural gateway to the city, ready for the 2012 London Olympics” providing striking new facilities for the 50 million passengers using the station every year.
I like what they’ve done.
Creating an interesting dialogue between old and new, the bold design has resulted in the largest single span structure in Europe with a dramatic steel vaulted arch that is sure to become an iconic architectural feature. Apparently the circularity of the concourse design echoes the neighbouring Great Northern Hotel, which is also being developed as part of the master plan.
I can’t wait for the 07.00 from Leeds to pull in to this station.