The Academy awarded the ‘Great Place’ accolade to the station for creating and sustaining one of the world’s truly iconic places. After an £800million restoration project in 2007, St Pancras helped to kick-start the regeneration of the King’s Cross area, reiterating that it is a place that has had a profound influence on its community. The award also covers a number of social, economic and environmental factors, including good governance and commercial success.
Not just a stunning station and efficient transport hub, St Pancras’ triumph also lies in the wide range of offerings and facilities it provides to commuters, travellers, visitors and shoppers alike. It hosts the world’s longest Champagne bar, run by Searcys, and luxury stores like Whistles and Aspinals, as well as London’s oldest book store chain, Hatchards, and free-to-play pianos that have all proved very popular with passengers.
The station is one of the finest examples of Victorian architecture, with the engineering marvel that is the Barlow Shed roof providing a perfect setting to house the art project, Terrace Wires. Running for three years, it has launched public art including “The Meeting Place”, Lucy + Jorge Orta’s Cloud : Meteoros and David Batchelor's Chromolocomotion, and will continue to do so in 2015 and beyond.
Nicola Shaw, CEO at HS1 Ltd. (owners of St Pancras International) said: “It is such an honour for the station to be awarded Great Place 2015 by The Academy of Urbanism. We are proud to have embraced the architecture, engineering and history of the station while still creating a modern development that works for all passengers, commuters and visitors. Over one million people per week pass through the station, from all over the UK and Europe, so it is important that St Pancras is more than just a functional hub but also a cultural destination; this recognition is a reflection of that objective.”
Steven Bee, Chair of The Academy of Urbanism, said: "Starting a journey, meeting a traveller, arriving at a new city are exciting and notable occasions. The re-imagining of St Pancras International recognised this and created exciting and notable spaces to match. This encourages people to linger, and that has encouraged the shops, bars and restaurants that enrich their experience. So the synergy of space – place - life that The Academy of Urbanism promotes and celebrates begins. This is the way that great places evolve – places where people want to be as well as need to be.”