Speaking at the official launch of the Eurostar High Speed 1 service that will operate from London St Pancras to Paris and Brussels, HM the Queen opened the station in front of UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown and other dignitaries, who she commended for the partnerships that have seen the station's succesful redevelopment.
St Pancras, originally destined for demolition, has undergone a £800m restoration at the hands of Arup director Alastair Lansley.
“[The station} is a wonderful illustration of what can be achieved through working in partnership, and it says a good deal about how we can take a twenty-first century approach whist at the same time having due consideration of our heritage,” the Queen said at the opening last night.
“Looking around me I am filled with hope that people of all backgrounds and ages, some of whom are not yet born, and most of whom we will never meet, will greatly benefit from the quality and the attention to detail which is at the heart of this significant undertaking; and will come to regard St Pancras not just as a station but as a destination.”
St Pancras was originally designed by Victorian engineer William Barlow and completed in 1868.
Its roof was made of 18,000 glass panes that vaulted 105ft high, spanning 234ft and spread 690ft wide.
The new design features a grand-stand view of the station as well as entertainment venues, bars and a giant clock designed by Dent.
Old ironwork on the roof has been cleaned to reveal the old blue paint underneath and the roof has been glazed.
The station redevelopment has been commended for its attention to detail, which is no surprise seeing Lansey himself has built a name as the railway architect partly responsible for the Liverpool Street redesign in the 1990s.
“The play between the old and new is what I really love about St Pancras,” Lansey told Design Build Network recently.
“The more constraints you have the better the design that comes out of it.
“As a client we said there was a functionaility that needed to be developed in the building.”
By Penny Jones