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McAslan aims to remove King's Cross concourse


John McAslan and Partners is tentatively pressing ahead with plans to sort out King's Cross Station after presenting its proposals to the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment.

Railtrack appointed the practice to masterplan the station in a £50 million project in 1997,and it has come up with four options for the station, including getting rid ofthe ugly frontage built in 1974 by British Rail's in-house team.Camden Council recently gave the 25 year-old low-level concourse addition a one-year extension to its planning permission while Railtrack decides on its future,but the concourse structure is still only a temporary feature and its removal would allow Cubitt's original station frontage to be visible once more.

CABE will not talk about the project since it is not yet a planning application,but the most likely place for expansion ofthe station is westwards,towards St Pancras,which is also set to expand to take on board the proposed terminus ofthe Channel Tunnel Rail Link.

McAslan himselfgave a lecture during Architecture Week on his practice's work in progress to accompany the launch ofa new book on his firm written by Kenneth Powell,in which he gave hints about the extent ofthe masterplan.Along with a talk and slides on work such as the practice's involvement with Anish Kapoor at its Salvation Army scheme near St Pauls,Sloane Square's Peter Jones store and the De La War pavilion,he talked about transport jobs like the King's Cross master-plan.He said that,like a scheme the practice is working on at High Street Kensington Station,the King's Cross project was based on relieving congestion and sorting out the 'messy'concourse.

The station opened in 1850 and features vaulted arrival and departure halls visible in the front facade arches,separated by a 37m-tall clock tower.

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