King's Cross Concourse, London, UK

John McAslan + Partners
Date Built
King's Cross Station, Pancras Road, London
Network Rail describes the transformation of King's Cross station as, " ... a result of strong partnerships forged between Network Rail, train operators, the local council, architects, suppliers and English Heritage."  The £550million scheme has transformed the 160 year old, Grade-I listed station.  Network Rail add that the stunning new roof structure has, " ... cleverly blended with the station’s heritage to create a space for passengers that is three times larger than the current concourse."  Within that space are more shops and restaurants but for the convenience of travelers there is also better lighting, clearer signage and a large destination board.

John McAslen's website explains that the project involved re-using and restoring existing structures as well as adding new.  "The train-shed and range buildings have been adapted and re-used ....

 .... the station’s previously obscured Grade I listed façade is being precisely restored." See below, before and after the restoration.

One of the points of friction between the architects and English Heritage, who were overseeing the work, was a row of Victorian brackets in the original station buildings.  In the end English Heritage's insistence that they stay resulted in the compromise you see below.  The brackets now support a curious walkway in the ticket hall.

In an article in the Guardian on Wednesday, March 14, 2012, Gwyn Topham said that, " ... The wow factor in the £500m redevelopment is a "diagrid" roof - the kind seen atop the British Museum's Great Court, but in this case spanning 150m with not one visible bolt in the entire structure. Designed to cover the largest area without the need for supporting columns in the middle, this vast bright space is "the head of a matchstick", the engineers explain. The steel piles underpinning the visible lattice are driven 50m into the ground. Architect Hiro Aso, who has been part of the project with architects John McAslan since submitting their winning design in the late 1990s, says: "It leaps, it's glorious, organic - a very bold expression of the overlay of new and old. We could have been a bit more apologetic, or subordinate, but this is an absolutely amazing structure."