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King's Cross Square, London, United Kingdom

Wednesday 28 Jan 2009

Iconic London station redesigned

King's Cross Square by WAN Editorial in London, United Kingdom
King's Cross Square by WAN Editorial in London, United Kingdom
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03/05/09 David Brown, London
I believe I read somewhere that the clock above the southern facade was originally built for the 1851Great Exhibition, but that the chimes have not worked for many a year. It would be nice if as part of this project the chimes were restored. I don't know if this is proposed by anyone or not.<p>

It's become pretty common wisdom that trees are necessary to the quality of life in cities. Also now there is more awarenes of the need of access to water, although in the UK this has been more through opening access to urban waterways rather through some more fountains which would be nice.
However, the quality of sound with which our ears and nerves are vulnerable 24/7 doesn't seem to enter much into the equation, except in the local council's noisy party police. Church bells at one time were very common in towns and cities, but are now rare with the deline in church going and the expense of maintaining them.
Like big ben in Parliament square the chimes would add a distinctive character to the kings cross square.
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King's Cross competition sees six shortlisted firms announced 

The redevelopment of one of London’s most famous railway stations is a step closer as the shortlist of six teams for its design has been announced by Network Rail. King’s Cross station is to be redesigned as part of the organisation’s £450 million station redevelopment scheme with an estimated £6 million dedicated to its completion.

Shortlisted teams

Field Operations with Buro Happold, Concepto, Macgregor Smith, Tomato

Gehl Architects and Landscape Projects with a team comprising Martin Stockley Associates, Simon Fenton Partnership, four23, and Hansen & Henneberg.

Gross.Max. Landscape Architects

Gustafson Porter with Arup, Space Syntax, Davis Langdon

Martha Schwartz Partners and Buro Happold with Squint/Opera, Davis Langdon, Quatro

Stanton Williams

All six teams will now submit designs for assessment by a Technical Panel and Jury prior to the announcement of a winner in late Summer 2009.

Network Rail and Camden Borough Council have collaborated on the project which will create a public space larger than Leicester Square and will operate as a new open approach to the station. The addition of a further platform will increase capacity for an expected rise in passenger figures from 40 million to 50 million passengers every year. The project will also see the uncovering of the original historic Grade I listed southern face of the station, designed by Lewis Cubitt in 1851, for the first time since 1972.

Ian Fry, programme director for Network Rail said: “The new square will become a key feature of the redeveloped station when it is complete in 2013. This new London landmark will not only benefit the travelling public who will gain from the creation of more space and new fantastic facilities, but King’s Cross Square will allow people to appreciate the restored Leiws Cubitt façade and make a significant positive impact on the surrounding area.”

Niki May Young
News Editor

WAN Editorial

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