In just a few weeks, the famously ugly green shed that has been despoiling the frontage of King’s Cross station since the 1970s will start to be swept away in the final stage of the upgrades to the area.
The concourse became slightly more bearable to use after it became an arrivals only site when the new huge concourse opened next door, but the relief is temporary as it will soon cease to exist – swept away to be replaced by a wide open plaza.
In the process, the brick and glass front of the station will be revealed for pretty much the first time since it was first built. Contrary to popular opinion, the space in front of the station was covered up within a decade of the station being built and the site has always been quite ugly. Even the Ugly Green Shed was an improvement on the clutter of tired sheds that littered the space before.
From this Saturday the Damoclean sword hanging over the shops in the old concourse will fall precipitously as they are all closed down. A week later, all the remaining facilities will be closed as they prepare to tear down the building.
It’s going to take another year to complete the rebuilding work as they have to be rather careful due to the fact that there’s a tube station underneath. I was told on a previous visit that the roof of the tube station is not technically waterproof, so when they bulldoze the Green Shed, it has to be done in a way that doesn’t let British weather get down below.
Once finished, the current view that greets people arriving at the station through the brick arches off this tired foyer will be replaced by glass doors leading directly to the plaza outside.
Anyway – the next couple of weeks will be the last chance to see the Ugly Green Shed before it starts to vanish.
To get an idea of the space that will be cleared, have a look at this Google satellite view of the area.
Anything will be an improvement on this entrance that has greeted visitors for the past 40 years.