Kings Cross Station Western Ticket Hall and the opening of the new Northern Ticket Hall at King's Cross St Pancras Underground Station on 29 November 2009 marked the conclusion of a major piece of infrastructure development, forming a key part of the largest transport interchange in Europe.
Designed by an Arup-led team, in close collaboration with architects Allies and Morrison, it represents the second phase of the works to upgrade and expand the station. The first phase of the project, the Western Ticket Hall, was opened to the public in May 2006.
The new Northern Ticket Hall provides an additional connection to St Pancras, with a subway link to domestic services served by a new station at the end of the original train shed. It also provides new access to the deep tubes of the Northern, Victoria and Piccadilly lines, enabling a more even distribution of passengers along the platforms, relieving congestion and bringing about safety improvements in providing alternative routes from each platform.
The London Underground brief called on the Arup/Allies and Morrison team to produce a simple and elegant design, to be recognised as visionary not only at the time of opening but also in 50 years time. The resulting design maximises the use of natural light, aiding passenger orientation and complementing the adjacent listed buildings.
Peter Evans, Arup Director, said, "This has been an amazing project to work on with Allies and Morrison. Many parties were involved and it could not have been achieved without close collaboration with London Underground, LUL Nominee SSL Ltd and the contractors. Phase I, has proved popular with users and has been rightly praised as a station for a world class city. The Northern Ticket Hall builds on this success. We are proud to have played a key part in the latest development of what was the world's first subway station".
As lead designer Arup established a multidisciplinary project office with the architectural team from Allies and Morrison. Disciplines involved in the design programme included civil, structural and building services design, acoustic consultancy, environmental, traffic management, IT and communications. Human factors, encompassing ergonomics, were introduced during the project to ensure an inclusive design for the station operations rooms and ticket offices. This work has become the London Underground standard.
Helen Logan, Practice Director, Allies and Morrison, commented, "Responding to the brief with Arup, we provided as much sectional height as site conditions allowed, developed design elements to express the sinuous geometry of the passenger tunnels and selected materials and details that were not only elegant but also robust and flexible. A bright and spatially generous station has been created that we are confident will be straightforward to manage and maintain for the future."
As part of the Network Rail development project a new concourse is being constructed over the Northern Ticket Hall providing direct access to mainline rail services. During the 2012 Olympics the Javelin service will take spectators from St Pancras to Stratford in just seven minutes.
ToughGlaze received orders to manufacture over 3,000m² to provide the entire balustrade for the redeveloped Kings Cross interchange and links to St. Pancras Station. 21.5mm Toughened Laminate was provided, some requiring a silkscreen ceramic fritt to be applied, prior to the toughening process. This was to mask the structure behind the glass, as the majority of the balustrade was face fixed and not in a channel. All the panels supplied were heat soaked to negate the potential of glass failure through inclusions, most notably Nickel Sulphide.