London has been ironing its shirt and tie so to speak for the 2012 Olympics, and the city’s latest architectural piece of flair is the new western concourse at London’s King’s Cross Station. After five years of construction, the new concourse opened its doors to European commuters yesterday, dazzling visitors with a practically supportless “diagrid roof,” as the Guardian reports. Designed by John McAslan + Partners, the glass-and-steel structure springs forward from one central plume of white steel, spanning 150 meters without a single visible bolt and finding support along the perimeter from 16 smaller, tree-shaped columns. The redevelopment is a breath of fresh air for the 47 million passengers who use the station each year, relieving cramped conditions and even providing a place to stroll and relax with a second story equipped with new shops and cafes. The latticed glass roof also brings more daylight into the station, illuminating the eastern platforms with clearer light. Moreover, the entire construction took place without a single train cancellation.
But the remaining question for many is where the ever-popular 'vanishing' luggage trolley marking Hogwarts’ platform 9¾ will be: “a new space will be found amid the renovation of the original 1852 building—but discreetly, not between platforms nine and 10, and facing away from any trains lest the incessant flash photography unsights the drivers.” Oh us Muggles.
[All photos courtesy Network Rail]