Kings Cross Square public art – Network Rail and Camden agree to community ‘fifth plinth’ proposal

Public artThis website suggested a 'fifth plinth' for a rotating display of public art in the new Kings Cross Square.  the proposal attracted widespread support amongst commentors.  I was delighted to receive today an email from Hannah Staunton at Network Rail to say that NR and Camden have agreed to such a facility:

'Thank you for your email in response to the King’s Cross square consultation. We had over 150 responses to the consultation, and have explored each suggestion to see whether our architects and engineers should make changes to the design. We’re writing to you now, to give you some information about the point you raised, regarding a “fourth-plinth” style art-area in the square.

The design team had been looking for ways to accommodate public art in the square since the design process began. The consultation process demonstrated a desire for public art, and about 10% of the comments we received related to the topic, and consequently we undertook a review of the options available to us.

As with all aspects of this design, we have worked within unavoidable constraints. Most of the square will be just over a foot above the original London Underground ticket hall: a structure which would not be able to support the weight of a bronze or stone statue, which can weigh several tonnes. Ensuring safe and swift pedestrian flow make the placement difficult.

However, following the review, I’m delighted to let you know that a suitable area has been identified and designated as a public art exhibition area. Enhanced foundations will be laid under the paving in this area, away from the busiest pedestrian flows. Network Rail and the London Borough of Camden have informally agreed to work together in the future to identify suitable privately-funded public art that may be exhibited here, along the lines of the “fourth plinth” as you suggested.'

I don't know if i missed this in the Network Rail document Kings Cross Square: results of public consultation now on their website. One of the reasons i set this site up was to help keep track of the myriad of documents produced by local engagement processes (extract):

Public art on the square

There was a strong desire to have some public art included in the design for the square. This issue was raised in 10 comments, representing 10% of the total.The design team has been looking for ways to accommodate public art in the square since the design process began. As with all aspects of this design, we have worked within unavoidable constraints. Most of the square will be just over a foot above the original London Underground ticket hall: a structure which would not be able to support the weight of a bronze or stone statue, which can weigh several tonnes, and ensuring safe and swift pedestrian flow make the placement difficult.

However, after a review of the options a suitable area has been identified and designated as a public art exhibition area. Enhanced foundations will be laid under the paving in this area, away from the busiest pedestrian flows to support potential art installations. Network Rail and the London Borough of Camden have informally agreed to work together in the future to identify suitable privately‐funded public art that may be exhibited in this area.

Now we need candidates for the first occupant…..

About William Perrin

Active in Kings Cross London and South Oxfordshire, founder of Talk About Local, helping people find a voice online and a trustee of The Indigo Trust and Tinder Foundation.
This entry was posted in Arts and Entertainment, Kings Cross Station Refurbishment. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Kings Cross Square public art – Network Rail and Camden agree to community ‘fifth plinth’ proposal

  1. What about a ghost bike to commemorate Min Joo Lee? Rosie Wright’s 2007 privately funded memorial nearby (http://ghostbikes.org/london/rosie-wright) seems to have been been removed…

  2. Andrew says:

    This is really good news – a good outcome, and good that NR have been listening! 🙂

  3. Pingback: Life on Kings Cross Square | Kings Cross Environment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s