residence, hotel, transport, walk/tour
Sir George Gilbert Scott, 1868
The Forecourt, St Pancras Station, Euston Road, NW1 2AR
Former Midland Grand Hotel, now St Pancras Renaissance Hotel and Chambers apartments. Includes hotel lobby and clock tower.
King's Cross St. Pancras
St. Pancras, King's Cross
The Clock Tower of St Pancras is the apartment underneath the clock at St Pancras Station. It is a part of St Pancras Chambers, the name given by British Rail to the building formerly known as the Midland Grand Hotel.
The building was originally constructed between 1868 and 1873 as the flagship hotel for the Midland Railway Company. Designed by the architect George Gilbert Scott as the accompaniment to the railway station shed by Henry Barlow, the hotel operated only until 1935 before being turned into railway offices and allowed to enter a general state of degradation. On the very top of the Tower stands the statue of Britannia, the only statue on the building. Curiously, stone niches adorn the rest of the building, appearing to await the addition of dozens of missing statues, abandoned as part of the railway’s cost-cutting measures.
The building is remarkable for being constructed largely from materials brought by rail from the Midlands, including the sandstone, red brick and the ironwork of the station roof and staircases. Carved stone capitals and bosses show a remarkable variety of high quality work, with granite columns gracing many of the arches. Taking inspiration from such buildings as the Cloth Hall at Ypres, Scott’s work harked back to a medley of periods in gothic architecture.
In 2005 Manhattan Loft Corporation gained permission to convert the derelict old hotel into a combination of apartments and a new hotel. Part of the 2nd floor and the 3rd to 5th floors became flats while the Ground floor, 1st floor and remainder of the 2nd floor were painstakingly renovated to form part of the Renaissance St Pancras Hotel, with about 200 new bedrooms added in a new wing extension to the rear up Midland Road.
The Clock Tower is surmounted by a spire at the base of which is the landmark four-face clock. Beneath that lies the flat, with its major Tower Room beneath the clock stretching 10 metres in height. This was originally a dark gloomy room, shut off from the outside world by sets of wooden louvres, mimicking the louvres used in bell towers to shed the sound of bells to the streets beneath. But the bell chamber was a folly, designed by Scott to look like the tower on top of a gothic cathedral but never put to any purpose – as the hotel clock never did have any bells. Today, glass replacements give the room beneath the clock a grandeur and feeling of light never seen in its days as part of the hotel.
The Clock has always been a fine time-keeper for travellers by train to the Midlands and beyond and today welcomes those taking the Eurostar to the continent.
public realm/landscape, walk/tour
A walk to highlight public realm improvements in Camden and the new traffic-free piazza in the Strand. The walk follows a https://footways.london/ route along attractive,low pollution streets, and end with a visit to St Mary le Strand
Many, including Scott, Hodgkinson, Soane, Hardwick, Lutyens, Inigo Jones (attributed), Gibbs, Wren and Chambers
A bicycle tour of public libraries and bookshops from Bloomsbury to the East End celebrating the institutions which keep books circulating and the buildings which bring readers and writers together. Over the course of the tour, we’ll see how architects working across a range of building styles express the ideals of their bookish institutions.
Drop in / Guided tour
event, walk/tour, gallery, art studio, museum, community/cultural
A great little museum set in the Grade 2 listed Ossulston Estate - a prime example of pre-war Social housing - based on Karl Marz Hof in Vienna. Open Wednesdays to Saturdays throughout Festival Sunday 11th Event
G Topham Forest, 1927
Come inside Hayhurst & Co’s intricate, light-filled building, bursting with architectural ideas and extraordinary spatial events to hear how it’s rooted in a coherent educational ethos – and empathy with young children.
Hayhurst & Co, 2021
Grade ll listed Oxford Movement Anglican church built 1887-88. Historic England describe the exterior as ‘quirky and aggressive’ but the interior is ‘very spare and elegant, the proportions subtly adjusted’. Elevated choir and sanctuary.
Joseph Peacock, 1887
The King’s Cross Masterplan established a framework for the incremental redevelopment of this industrial heritage site through a mix of uses and a network of public spaces structuring new urban blocks and knitting the site into its context.
Allies and Morrison, Porphyrios Associates, 2007
public realm/landscape, walk/tour, mixed use
King's Cross is a 67 acre development in Central London being transformed into a new city quarter with 20 regenerated heritage buildings, new homes, offices, public spaces, shops, galleries, bars, restaurants, schools and a university.
Townshend Landscape Architects, 2012
Guided tour / Talk
The life cycle of London’s landscape starts with history. History becomes an integral part of it from the very inception of its design, enriched through construction, and expands even after the building’s completion. As architectural landscapes are repurposed for contemporary needs, they continue to respond to challenges and stigmas of marginalised communities. Join us on Saturday 9th September (11am-1pm) to discuss what happens when people inhabit landscapes and new communities emerge. As landscapes mature, we are given a choice: to ignore or embrace what came before. What happens when the histories of these communities are neglected?
Fumihiko Maki of Maki and Associates, 2018
library, education, garden, walk/tour, gallery, public realm/landscape, online
The Aga Khan Centre, designed by Pritzker prize winning architect Fumihiko Maki, houses the UK institutions of the Aga Khan Development Network. A unique feature are its six gardens inspired by different regions of the Muslim world.
Fumihiko Maki of Maki and Associates, 2018
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