Kings Cross Square
Thursday 21 Aug 2014
Kings Cross Square, which was officially opened in 2013 by the Mayor of London, is already proving a popular daytime and night-time public space with over 140,000 people using it daily. Part of the £550 million redevelopment of Kings Cross, Stanton Williams' well considered scheme reveals the brick façade of Lewis Cubitt's 1852 railway station behind a generous 75,000 sq. ft plaza.
StudioFRACTAL worked closely with Stanton Williams to help restore the integrity of the space and give the square a greater civic importance by day and by night. Lighting was designed from the outset to create a strong visual identity, support wayfinding and encourage commuters to linger and appreciate the space. StudioFRACTAL's lighting strategy concentrated on incorporating lighting into the built environment wherever possible, highlighting the historic façade to create a 3-dimensional space and emphasising materials and textures.
The majority of plaza illumination is delivered from three 20m bespoke stainless steel columns, each housing an array of individually focused LED spotlights. Carefully positioned to align with the historic façade, the LED arrays have been carefully designed to provide a low glare, crisply functional appearance against the warmly glowing façade. Smaller columns are positioned to guide commuters to the ticket concourse and a variety of low profile lighting elements have been designed into the various structures and forms across the square to provide supplementary illumination and localised accent.
The attention to detail is impressive across the square - the result of a close collaboration between architect and lighting designer throughout the design phases and across the phased construction programme. StudioFRACTAL worked hard with a variety of lighting manufacturers to deliver an all LED scheme (the first in the UK for a major public space) to minimise equipment size and achieve stringent longevity and running cost targets. All lighting products are backed by an extensive warrantee programme - including the products were specially made for the project.
The combination of gently glowing historic façade, ‘floating' granite structures and carefully worked lighting details across the project has transformed Kings Cross Square from a neglected site into an exemplary public urban square - already well used both day and night.