Kings Cross Square

Kings Cross Square
Captivating illumination sets new standards for civic plaza

The transformation of King's Cross is not only beautiful by day and night but it has also triggered all sorts of regeneration.”

Boris Johnson - the former mayor of London

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About

Part of the £550 million redevelopment of Kings Cross, Stanton Williams’ well considered scheme reveals the brick façade of Lewis Cubitt’s 1852 railway station behind a generous 75,000 sq ft plaza.

StudioFractal worked closely with Stanton Williams to help restore the integrity of the space and give the square a greater civic importance by day and by night. Lighting was designed from the outset to create a strong visual identity, support wayfinding and encourage commuters to linger and appreciate the space. SF’s lighting strategy concentrated on incorporating lighting into the built environment wherever possible, highlighting the historic façade to create a 3 dimensional space and emphasising materials and textures.  

The majority of plaza illumination is delivered from three 20m bespoke stainless steel columns, each housing an array of individually focused LED spotlights. Carefully positioned to align with the historic façade, the LED arrays have been carefully designed to provide a low glare, crisply functional appearance against the warmly glowing façade. Smaller columns are positioned to guide commuters to the ticket concourse and a variety of low profile lighting elements have been designed into the various structures and forms across the square to provide supplementary illumination and localised accent.

The attention to detail is impressive across the square – the result of a close collaboration between architect and lighting designer throughout the design phases and across the phased construction programme. StudioFractal worked alongside a number of lighting manufacturers, endeavouring to deliver a complete LED scheme (the first in the UK in a major public space); to minimise equipment size and achieve longevity within stringent running cost targets. All lighting products are backed by an extensive warrantee programme – including the products that were specially made for the project.

The combination of gently glowing historic façades, ‘floating’ granite structures and carefully worked lighting details across the project has transformed Kings Cross Square from a neglected site into an exemplary public urban square – already well used both day and night.

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Kings Cross Square
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Location

London

Architect

Stanton Williams

Client

Network Rail

Status

Completed

Awards

Winner IALD (32nd international Annual Lighting Design Awards) 2015 – Certificate of Excellence

Winner LDA's UK Lighting Design Awards 2015 – Exterior Project of the year

Winner WIN Awards 2015 – Lighting Project Category

Testimonial
[This is] a fantastic open space which has led to the creation of a whole new vibrant district. The transformation of King's Cross is not only beautiful by day and night but it has also triggered all sorts of regeneration, with new jobs, huge numbers of homes being built and businesses relocating here.”

Boris Johnson - the former mayor of London

Kings Cross Square
Bespoke pieces for Kings Cross Square