Monday, 28 November 2011
Left: Stanton Williams Designs for King's Cross Square. Right: Gaylord Investments' recent proposal for the Euston Road side of King's Cross Square
The importance of King’s Cross as an international gateway has grown over the last decade, and since Terry Farrell's proposal for the Mayor’s Hundred Public Spaces Programme, which suggested a worthy terminus to Euston Road as one of the capital's grand boulevardes, and of course there has been a global financial crisis. Still, there was a doubling the capacity of the underground interchange, and international-calibre designs for the iconic stations. But despite Camden's 'place shaping' efforts, now the disconnected vision (or lack of vision) of this civic space has seen the calibre of civic design descending to the standards of Gaylord Investments and Transport for London.
A future award candidate? Better to return to the 'Great Spaces' plan.
Update 5 January 2012
Camden New Journal "Shattered Dream"
Developer Nigel Bennett (of Metropolis Planning and Design) was said to have had his dream shattered with the recent refusal of planning permission by Camden Council. Bennett cited 'anti-development' 'lobbyists' as interfering with the project which, despite CABE's report, Bennett personally considered to be an exciting contemporary design. He vowed to appeal over the eighteen grounds Camden gave for refusing planning approval.
Can King's Cross Square have good quality design, world standard architecture and positive civic development? Could it be a Great Space?