Barely meeting its Thursday deadline, the long anticipated King’s Cross station wide plaza space in front of the original Victorian station building opened just in time.
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It would be fair to say that it is not finished yet, with quite a large amount of unfinished flooring away from the station itself, and even where paving has been laid down, it is clear that they have been in a rush to get the area ready for the VIPs to give their speeches this morning.
While this morning was the main show for the VIPs and media, I trotted along to see the station as most people will see it this coming winter — in the dark.
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If lit well, buildings come alive at night in a way that they just cannot do in the daytime, and the frontage of King’s Cross has been lit well, with just subtle hints around the edges highlighting the brick work. Away from the station to the plaza, down lights under the seating do a lot to punctuate the open square.
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Three tall downlighters on poles are a suitable replacement for the usual street lighting, although I suspect a lot of people will curse their placement so close to the station building if they want a clean photo of the building. That said, the new blast-proof glass in the huge arches reflects the light poles in a quite delightful way.
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Of course, the majority of the people leaving the station will do so in the morning, in the daylight, but at least they will see a grand vista instead of the ugly green shed that has despoiled the land for the past 40 years.
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Listening to people walking around the Square (which is not actually square in shape) showed that most people love the new open space. I think I agree.
Some more photos: