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King’s Cross Square London

Public Realm Development in London, England, UK – design by Stanton Williams

22 Jul 2011

King’s Cross Square


Plans to create a new public space for London by the end of 2013 as part of the redevelopment of King’s Cross station have been unveiled today by Network Rail.

King’s Cross Square Design

At more than 7000m2, the new King’s Cross Square will be 50% bigger than Leicester Square, opening up the space currently occupied by the 1970s concourse extension and revealing the stunning Grade I listed Victorian station façade for the first time in almost 150 years.

Kings Cross Square London Kings Cross Square Kings Cross Square proposal
images from Stanton Williams Architects

Architects Stanton Williams were chosen to work with Network Rail on the new square following an international design competition attracting entries from more than 100 architects and urban designers from around the world. The square has been carefully designed to complement the area’s rich history and provide a modern, open space in the heart of London.

Alan Stanton, director of Stanton Williams, said: “King’s Cross Square is a unique opportunity to create a new public space for London and a response to one of the most exciting urban challenges in the city. The scheme will become a focal point at the heart of the wider King’s Cross development bringing together major urban and transport improvements.”

Ian Fry, Network Rail programme director at King’s Cross, added: “The redevelopment of the station is well under way and will see a stunning and spacious new concourse opening in spring 2012. After the Olympics we will then remove the outdated green canopy in front of the station to create the space for this fantastic new square, revealing the original Victorian façade of King’s Cross station for the first time since the 1860s.”

The designs for King’s Cross Square will be on display at King’s Cross station from Friday 22nd July to Tuesday 26th July.

The planning application for the square will be submitted later in 2011.

King’s Cross Square London : new information on the completed public space

King’s Cross Square – Background Information

The plans for King’s Cross Square were exhibited in the station. Comments on the plans can also be submitted online at

Redevelopment of King’s Cross

Network Rail is transforming King’s Cross station into a world-class transport hub. A new glass and steel concourse will open in spring 2012, with three times more space than the existing area and better facilities. The project is set to complete in late 2013 and will see the existing green canopy stripped away, a new public square opened and the original Grade I listed Victorian structure restored and revealed.

In addition to the new public square, Network Rail has worked with partners to deliver other improvements to the local community:

Network Rail has given £1m to Camden Council to spend on improvements to the local area, including £750,000 to improve the pedestrian environment along York Way.

The equivalent of almost 400 jobs will be created as a result of this work and Network Rail is working with surrounding local authorities to support training and employment for people in the local community.

Network Rail has also pledged to provide £175,000 to increase the number of covered cycle racks for the station. This will help to provide 800 more spaces for bike parking in the King’s Cross Central site in time for the Olympics.

King’s Cross has been identified by the Mayor’s London Plan as an area of potential growth. Network Rail is working closely with local authorities and neighbouring developers (London and Continental Railways and Argent plc) so that plans for the station support this wider development. Network Rail will also support a number of local community groups throughout this project.

About the architects

Stanton Williams is an award-winning international architectural practice based in London. The firm has developed its portfolio from an initial focus on museums and galleries towards a wide variety of projects, all of which demonstrate the practice’s over-arching objective of putting the user’s experience of space, light and materials at the forefront of the agenda. Projects include: Tower Hill, the recently completed Sainsbury Laboratory in the University of Cambridge’s botanical gardens and the Hackney Marshes Centre. Current projects include: the new Campus for the University of the Arts London at Kings Cross, the Stadtmuseum Berlin, the Grand Musée d’Art in Nantes and the Eton Manor site for the London Olympics 2012.

Stanton Williams

King’s Cross Square images / information from Stanton Williams

King’s Cross Square Design Contest


27 Jan 2009

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 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 shortlisted design teams, alphabetical:

– 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.”

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 designer 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.

A briefing pack will be sent to the short-listed teams inviting response by late Spring 2009, and these will be assessed by a Technical Panel and Jury prior to the announcement of a winner in late Summer 2009. The square will be 7,000m2 in size.

King’s Cross Station redevelopment
The majority of the station redevelopment will be completed by 2012 in time for the Olympics with the transformation of the square complete in 2013. Once completed, 50million passengers will use the new station each year – 10million more than today. An additional platform, increasing reliability and capacity at the station will be built The new station will include integrated transport links.

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Location: King’s Cross, London, England, UK

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