Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Transforming King's Cross station: Investing in infrastructure, jobs and people

Inside the splendour of the Victoria & Albert Museum in South Kensington a high-powered cluster of architects, engineers, conservationists and politicians listened to Ian Fry speaking at last night's launch (Monday, 21 May) of the book, Transforming King's Cross.
 The last time I met Ian Fry was on the roof of King's Cross station. He's Network Rail's project director for the station's stunning and ongoing transformation. The photos below show Fry on site in May 2010 and how the station's Western Concourse then looked.

"If you look at the area around the station, you'll see how the area's is changing and how many new jobs are being created," said Fry last night.
 Nobody felt inclined to argue with the idea that investment in infrastructure creates jobs, growth and benefits the lives of many people. The only folks who seem to reject this notion are politicians in 10 Downing Street and in Parliament.
 Before catching my train home last night I feasted my eyes yet again on the biggest transformation of Lewis Cubitt’s station since it was first built in 1852.
 The £550m transformation includes careful restoration of the Victorian station’s Eastern and Western range buildings and the Main Train Shed. But the centrepiece is the Western Concourse’s 20-metre high roof, a tubular steel grid, glazed with 1,600 panels, radiating spectacularly from a tapered funnel.
 The 150-m long and 7,500 sqm Western Concourse looks like a futuristic space ship docking with the Grade I-listed Western Range and the curving Grade II-listed, refurbished Great Northern Hotel.
 Londoners and the hundreds of people of who've worked on this project can rightly take pride in this place.

King's Cross Station
Project delivery: Network Rail
Architects: John McAslan + Partners
Engineering: Arup
Transforming King's Cross (above) is published by Merrell.
King's Cross: Regenerating a London Landmark, an exhibition on the station's refurbishment, is at the V&A until October 2012.

For my more detailed look at the station's transformation: Railway Terminal World

Photos: Paul Coleman, London Intelligence No repro without permission.

Paul Coleman, London, May 2012


No comments: