Stanton Williams has finally been named as the winner in the contest to design a new 7,000m² square outside King’s Cross Station, London
The announcement comes almost two years after the high-profile competition to overhaul the spaces around the station was launched in June 2008.
The practice saw off more than 100 practices to land the £6 million piazza project – hailed as the ‘final piece in the jigsaw of Network Rail’s £500 million redevelopment of King’s Cross station’ – and was selected ahead of finalists Gehl Architects, Gustafson Porter and Gross Max.
It is understood shortlisted practices Field Operations and Martha Schwartz Partners both dropped out.
The scheme, which is not due to complete until after London’s 2012 Olympic Games in 2013, will reveal the facade of the 150-year-old Grade-I listed southern station for the first time in more than 30 years.
Alan Stanton, of Stanton Williams Architects, said: ‘This is a unique opportunity to create a new public square as part of one of London’s busiest transport interchanges. The design will address the challenge of integrating the legacy of existing structures on the site to create an environment which functions seamlessly for the public and makes an important contribution to the regeneration of the surrounding area.’
King’s Cross Square – full project description from Stanton Williams
The creation of the new King’s Cross Square presents one of the most exciting urban challenges facing London today. The square forms a focal point at the heart of a district which, following decades of neglect, is currently being injected with a new energy through a range of major urban and transport projects.
Our design proposal for the 7,000 m² square aims to create a strong, coherent and exciting space that ‘makes sense’ of the numerous challenges and paradoxes inherent in the existing context.
The 1970’s buildings on the site will be removed to reveal the 1852 Cubitt façade of King’s Cross Station as a backdrop to the new square. Three light masts designed to match the height of the station’s facade will bring this civic scale forward into the square.
The geometry of the Railway Station and tracks is reflected in the linear paving lines which project out into the public square from the north and is further reinforced through the configuration of the parallel benching and landscaping elements.
The existing London Underground vent shaft will be reclad to become an Information Tower whose circular form acts of as a pivot point in the geometry of the Square. Alongside it, a new pavilion aligns with Euston Road and forms a canopy over the London Underground entrance and other public facilities.
Jim Cornell, former executive director of the Railway Heritage Trust, headed the panel that chose the winning architect alongside representatives from Network Rail, English Heritage, Design for London and the London Development Agency and Camden and Islington councils. Architects Rab Bennetts and Grimshaw’s Chris Nash were also on the jury.