This just in from Alastair Metcalfe at Network Rail. Let's hope there is good community involvement in the competition – curiously omitted from the NR press release – and some striking proposals. The pyramid at the Louvre is always a favourite with me….
NR's blurb begins:
'NETWORK RAIL ANNOUNCES SHORT-LISTED ARCHITECTS FOR NEW SQUARE AT KING'S CROSS
Six leading teams of architects have been short-listed to develop their ideas for a brand new public square for London at King’s Cross station.
Bigger than Leicester Square, the new square at King’s Cross station is one of the most important schemes of its kind for the capital, giving London its first dedicated open approach to a major station.
Network Rail and Camden Borough Council are developing ideas that not only take advantage of the profile and prominence of this unique setting, but provide a pleasant and functional space for the thousands of people who will use it every day. The new square should also provide a fitting frontage to the original historic Grade I listed southern face of the station, designed by Lewis Cubitt in 1851, which will be uncovered for the first time since 1972.
The square will be created as part of Network Rail’s major £450m station redevelopment and will be located on the site of the current Euston Road concourse which is set to be demolished following the completion of the new station concourse.
The six short-listed teams were drawn up from more than 100 expressions of interest received from firms from all over the world. The six teams are (in alphabetical order):
– Field Operations with Buro Happold, Concepto, Macgregor Smith, Tomato
– Gehl Architects and Landscape Projects with a team comprising Martin Stockley Associates, Simon Fenton Partnership, four23, and Hansen & Henneberg.
– Gross.Max. Landscape Architects
– Gustafson Porter with Arup, Space Syntax, Davis Langdon
– Martha Schwartz Partners and Buro Happold with Squint/Opera, Davis Langdon, Quatro
– Stanton Williams
Ian Fry, programme director for Network Rail said: “The new square will become a key feature of the redeveloped station when it is complete in 2013. This new London landmark will not only benefit the travelling public who will gain from the creation of more space and new fantastic facilities, but King’s Cross Square will allow people to appreciate the restored William Cubitt façade and make a significant positive impact on the surrounding area.”
Camden Council Leader, Cllr Keith Moffitt, said: “The new King’s Cross will be a station for the future with a modern design that recognises its outstanding past. Residents and visitors alike will see major improvements to the historic station and its facilities, and a dramatic uplift outside. The new world-class public square will transform this part of Euston Road, making it more attractive for local residents and existing travellers.
Malcolm Reading, of Malcolm Reading Consultants, who is managing the competition on behalf of London Borough of Camden said: “The panel were really encouraged by the level of interest from around the world and this has resulted in an exceptional shortlist. There is a very rich mix of collaborators within the teams which is going to ensure just the sort of innovative urban response that the promoters are looking for.”
The short-listed teams will submit their ideas over the next few months, with the winning design being selected in the summer. The anticipated budget for the project is £6m.
The competition is promoted by Network Rail and the London Borough of Camden and is being run in association with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Competitions Office with John McAslan + Partners as Network Rail’s technical adviser.