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JOHN McASLAN & PARTNERS

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KING'S CROSS STATION, LONDON

King's Cross, listed Grade I, is one of the great railway monuments of Europe. Lewis Cubitt's sublimely simple terminal has, however, suffered many alterations over the last century and a half. In particular, the transfer of passenger facilities from the east and west flanks to the southern end of the building has produced a dismal 1970s extension, while space elsewhere stands vacant and wasted. The advent of major changes in the area, including the planned use of the adjacent St Pancras as a Channel Tunnel terminal, has prompted a comprehensive rethink. jmp was appointed by Railtrack in July 1997 to prepare a £50 million-plus scheme for future development, scheduled to be completed by 2004. The southern extension is operationally necessary, though its exact form is not yet decided - the option of 'extruding' the twin train sheds is probably too radical for British taste. A 'light and volumetric' new space is planned to replace the existing eyesore. Major works of adaptation and refurbishment are planned to increase retail space and greatly improve links with other transport systems, which are at present inconvenient and even squalid, and with the future European terminal at St Pancras.

KING'S CROSS MASTERPLAN

CLIENT

Railtrack Properties Projects

ARCHITECT

jmp: John McAslan, Piers Smerin, Adam Brown, Robin Cross, Hans Grabowski

STRUCTURE, M&E, TRANSPORTATION, FIRE AND ACOUSTICS CONSULTANT

Ove Arup & Partners, London

QUANTITY SURVEYOR

Turner & Townsend

RETAIL DESIGN CONSULTANT

20:20

PLANNING CONSULTANT AND ARCHITECTURAL ARCHAEOLOGIST

CgMs

The aerial view of King's Cross Station from the south shows the 1970s low-level concourse building constructed to overcome the shortage of passenger circulation, ticketing and retail accommodation within Cubitt's original station. The study model, left, illustrates proposed above- and below-ground interchange elements

SCHOOL OF ORIENTAL AND AFRICAN STUDIES, LONDON

soas is based in a relatively dull late Charles Holden building, in the shadow of the great Senate House, and a more interesting extension by Sir Denys Lasdun. There is little space for expansion, but the gradual re-creation of the lost Torrington Square - with a building by Stanton Williams recently completed - provides a clue for the future. jmp's extension, providing academic and (much-needed) social space, and due to be submitted for planning permission this spring, is designed to work with the existing buildings, relating to them while allowing them to 'breathe'. The proposed building is part of a jmp masterplan for the school's future development.

SCHOOL OF ORIENTAL AND AFRICAN STUDIES, LONDON

CLIENT

School of Oriental and African Studies

ARCHITECT

jmp: John McAslan, Martin Markcrow, Hiro Aso, Ian Troake

STRUCTURAL ENGINEER

Whitby & Bird

M&E ENGINEER

eda

QUANTITY SURVEYOR

Madlin and Maddison

LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT

Edward Hutchison

COMMONWEALTH INSTITUTE, LONDON

The Commonwealth Institute, completed in 1962 by rmjm, is one of the most striking public buildings of its period, yet it has never had a clear role. Antiquated displays and lack of funding - and a threat of closure under the last government - have not helped, and the building now needs substantial refurbishment and re-servicing. jmp's masterplan, submitted for Lottery funding, concentrates not just on the building in isolation but on its context, its relationship with the street and with Holland Park. The building, it is argued, needs to be perceived as accessible and inviting, with attractive gardens and a clear link to the park. The importance of the existing gardens, designed by Sylvia Crowe, is recognised, and the adjustment to the landscape will be subtle, rather than radical.

COMMONWEALTH INSTITUTE

CLIENT

Commonwealth Institute

ARCHITECT

jmp: John McAslan, Piers Smerin, Adam Brown, Karen Mitchell, Matt Williams

STRUCTURAL ENGINEER

Whitby & Bird

M&E ENGINEER

Battle McCarthy

QUANTITY SURVEYOR

Monro White Hilton

LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT

Edward Hutchison/Alain Provost

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