THE GERMAN GYMNASIUM

King's Cross. London

The Gymnasium at St Pancras was built in 1865. Our works, which are the first stage in bringing the building back into long-term use, involve revealing some aspects of its original ‘anatomy’ and character, while retaining much of the many-layered collage of historical alterations. We have created a grand space connecting the lower and upper floors; a fragment of the original vast void, which formed the “turnhalle”. This offers an immediate view up into the laminated timber roof structure from the entrance of the ground floor exhibition space.

The new stair, which connects the two levels, is fabricated entirely of welded steel plate with oak trims; a reference to the timber and metal connections employed in the existing roof structure of the building. Other necessary elements such as a lift, temporary fire escapes and back of house areas have been provided on the north and east sides, leaving the south and west free to allow sunlight to fill both floors. The west facade facing the new entrance to St Pancras was refaced as part of the CTRL demolitions, and has been refurbished with frameless glazing, set behind the brick facade.

Team

Client
London and Continental Stations and Property
Structural engineer
Arup
Project manager
London and Continental Railways
Contractor
Wallis

Photography
Peter Cook / VIEW

Data

Completion date
2005
Area
1,285 sqm
Location
1 Pancras Road
London N1C

Green Apple Award for the
Built Environment and Architectural Heritage
2007