Blueprint unveiled for bigger, light-filled station to replace 1970s concourse.Blueprint unveiled for bigger, light-filled station to replace 1970s concourse.
Railtrack has unveiled plans for a £150m remodelling of King’s Cross Station in north London to be designed by John McAslan & Partners.

It is intended to be independent of the scheme to convert next-door St Pancras Station to the terminus for the Channel Tunnel Rail Link. However, it does link in with a £100m underground ticket hall designed for London Underground by architect Allies & Morrison and could extend into land vested in the CTRL.

Work could start on site next year with completion planned for 2005. King’s Cross Station, a grade I-listed building, is now served by a concourse built in 1971 with temporary planning permission. English Heritage and other conservation groups have been highly critical of the area, and the London Borough of Camden has agreed to extend temporary permission only until next September, forcing Railtrack to design a new concourse.

This week, Railtrack project manager Robin Lovell and Adam Brown of John McAslan & Partners presented four options to Camden’s development control sub-committee.

Its preferred option is a glazed semicircular two-storey assembly point alongside the western flank of the station north of the Great Northern Hotel facing St Pancras. The building would sit above London Underground’s proposed ticket hall and give access to platforms via a footbridge. The concourse would be 4000 m2, 50% larger than the present one.

This scheme would also enable the station to expand by creating a platform on the eastern side of the train shed and extending two suburban line platforms to accommodate larger trains. A high-level link to St Pancras is also being considered.

Brown said: “Passenger experience would be enhanced by lofty daylit spaces inside the glazed shed. It would also reconnect the disjointed urban fabric to the north and west. The scheme is supported by English Heritage, the Victorian Society and the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment.”

Lovell said the scheme would be submitted to the Railtrack board early next year, with a planning application submitted soon after.

“We have the opportunity for an integrated transport hub that is unique in this country,” he said.

Camden councillors gave a guarded welcome to the proposals, with some councillors expressing concern about taxi access.