Speirs + Major have conceived and guided the creation of a new illuminated lightwall in King’s Cross, designed to enrich the experience of the pedestrian tunnel that connects King’s Cross St Pancras Underground station with the Chipperfield-designed One Pancras Square.
Following their long-standing involvement in the development of the King’s Cross Central area, the development partnership (KCCLP) invited Speirs + Major to propose ways in which the Allies & Morrison-designed 90m curved concourse could be enhanced through lighting. The resulting idea was to create a memorable and immersive experience; one that would give the tunnel impact and mark it out as one of the main gateways to the site.
Visualised as an illuminated graphic artwork, the lightwall runs the full length of the tunnel, activating the dramatic, triangular tunnel cladding and drawing pedestrians from the adjacent Tube tunnels. A rolling programme of art is planned to ensure that regular visitors to King’s Cross have an ever-changing experience. Artists Miriam Sleeman of The Cross Kings and Tom Sloan have created the first artwork. Entitled “Pipette”, it is designed to evoke the colourful tapestry of Kings Cross.
The wall provides a soft, seamless light effect, with the ability to produce both beautiful pastel shades as well as intense, saturated colour; all of which can be gently animated. The design was developed in close collaboration with The Light Lab, who also manufactured and installed the feature.
“We are absolutely delighted with the impact that the space has already had. Whilst originally intended as an incidental, discovered experience, we are excited to hear that the art wall may also enable to the tunnel to be used as a unique event space.”
Phil Sullivan, Project Director at Argent (Asset Manager for KCCLP), said:
“We’re extremely pleased that we have been able to create a new transport connection which is visually exciting as well as practical. Our work at King’s Cross is about creating experiences across the site, and we felt the same should be true for this tunnel.”
The tunnel was officially opened on 29 June 2014.Location: King’s Cross, London, UK Client: Argent
Architect: Allies & Morrison
Art wall concept and consultancy: Speirs +Major (Andrew Howis)
Art wall delivery: The Light Lab
Artists: Miriam Sleeman, The Cross Kings; Tom Sloan