Former International Terminal, Waterloo Station, London

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Grimshaw Architects
Date Built
Completed 1993
Waterloo Railway Station
In 1993 the International Terminal for the Eurostar trains opened in Waterloo Station connecting London via the Channel Tunnel to the Gare du Nord station in Paris.  At its peak the terminal catered for 15 million passengers a year.  Despite the fact that it occupied a constrained site on the margins of Waterloo Station, it was what Grimshaws describe as a, "... multi-faceted terminus (that) houses all the requirements for international travel, including full security screening, immigration and customs border control."

The platforms were protected beneath a, "...sparkling curvaceous skin (which) responds to the dictates of the site and the proportions of Eurostar train carriages, while the translucent glazing gives passengers impressive views out to Westminster and illuminates the concourse throughout the day.  Beneath the architecturally significant roof structure, an equally important two-storey viaduct supports the platforms and incorporates two floors of passenger facilities."

The facility received an impressive collection of awards;

1995 Civic Trust Award
1995 British Construction Industry Award
AIA / London UK Chapter Design Excellence Award
Financial Times Industrial Architecture Award
Royal Institute of British Architects Building of the Year
Royal Institute of British Architects Award
1994 Structural Steel Design Award
Royal Fine Art Commission Building of the Year Award
Mies van der Rohe Pavilion Award for European Architecture

The Waterloo terminal was eventually replaced by the new St Pancras International Station that sat at the end of the HS1 railway line that provided a high spreed link to the Channel Tunnel.  The newly restored St Pancras Station was opened by the Queen on 6th November 2007. 

When I visited the Waterloo terminal in 2016 work was underway to refurbish the largely unused facility.  After an £800m revamp the five platforms will once again return to service increasing Waterloo's capacity by 30%.  In addition to providing 5 new platforms the project will add what the Evening Standard described as a,  ".... shiny new concourse to cater for 18 services an hour".


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