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4.6 out of 5 stars
The Transformation of St Pancras Station
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
This book is immediately appealing from the moment you remove it from the packaging. It is reassuringly heavy, even in paperback form, and weighs roughly the same as a similar sized block of wood. Open it and it oozes quality, from the many fine photographs - mostly in full colour - to the very interesting, and very readable, text content.

I have known St Pancras for over 35 years, and have seen its' fortunes change from virtually a state of semi-dereliction, with only a couple of trains an hour (after Bedford line suburban trains were routed through Thameslink), to what must now be the station's finest hour. This book catalogues the transformation from initial concepts to completion, but covers a lot more in addition. It is a well known fact that the station is wholly supported on columns that are spaced to accommodate beer wagons, but within the covers of this book you will discover many other interesting facts that are lesser known. The book extends its' sphere of coverage to the lands immediately north of the station and the hinterland of the adjacent Kings Cross, both of which are ripe for the urban regeneration catalysed by the "new" St Pancras.

I was initially attracted to this book as it had been credited as written by Alastair Lansley. Alastair was the architect with overall responsibility for the project, and with whom I had worked (in a minor consultancy capacity) on a couple of former projects, as well as the very early stages of this one. I am not sure how much of this actually came from his pen; however he was always passionate about his work and loved detail - and this book revels in both passion and expert detail that you don't usually find. It's a book that I find difficult to put down - and for a work of this kind, this is unusual. Even if you don't yet know St Pancras - and I would suggest that if you have come this far in this lengthy review then you are obviously interested - buy the book, read and enjoy, then go visit the subject. You won't be disappointed in either.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 5 June 2011
An outstanding book about an outstanding project. Whilst it is of course mainly about the station regeneration the original building history is also well set out, but the book really gets into it's stride when the refurbishment is described in text and plans plus superbly detailed photographs. The work that went on is astonishing and breathtaking and quite rightly people come from all over the world to see the finished product. The book illustrates the immense detailing that went into the project and also underlines what a fantastic project the original build was. It is a book that you can dip into or read fully, I could't put it down once I'd started it. I think that the John Betjeman statue was an inspired choice and was wonderfully created,and adds greatly to the overall feel. You don't have to be into Railways or Architecture to appreciate this volume, but it certainly makes you appreciate just what an icon it was originally ,and after many years in the wilderness, is again. This is most certainly a huge two fingers to the people who wished the whole edifice be destroyed. My only question would be why does Alastair Lansley hardly feature at all in this wonderful book?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 26 December 2010
This book has words but it's mainly about the pictures. What you are considering buying is a beautifully presented book with around 300 photographs covering the history of St Pancras Station, its rebuilding (ending in 2007) and the way it looks today. (Note the book deals with the station itself, not with the Midland Grand Hotel, the elaborate Gothic building fronting on to Euston Road.)

The photos of the history of St Pancras and the renovation are worth the price of the book on its own, though, including the fascinating pictures of the area just north of the station that changed so much as a result. My only quibble is that the chance for some "before-and-after" comparisons was missed, taking the same view from the same spot at the beginning and end of the renovation. This is only a minor quibble because it is still possible to do this, although the views don't quite match.

Almost all the photos (except the very oldest) are in colour and allow you to absorb so many aspects of the project. I am no expert in architecture or engineering but I got a real sense of the achievement, both of Barlow in building the original shed and the 21st century team in changing its role. The photos of the way the building looks now are superb, but because you can see the same views if you visit the station they are most interesting when they have an unusual view.

A final small quibble is that as the architect of the scheme Mr Lansley is maybe too close to give an objective comment and sometimes the text does seem a little like an advert, but these are minor irritations and can simply be read as reflecting his justifiable pride in the work done. Overall I would say this book is excellent value and should make anyone using the station look at it with new insight.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 24 November 2011
This book is beautifully put together. As someone who has used St Pancras an awful lot, and who was there to take part in the Eurostar testing, this book is truly special. Every page and every picture tells a story, and the book really takes you back right to the beginning of the stations history.

It is filled with amazing pictures, and talks all about the different people who have had a say in what St Pancras International station was, is and what the future holds for it. It offers an amazing insight to the area around the station including its history, and how it so influenced the very station being built around it.

The book is a big read, packed full of amazing photographs, and interesting facts about the station itself and the restoration project. A tribute to an amazing project, and no book collection would be complete without this gem.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 28 September 2013
A highly intelligent, highly detailed, beautifully illustrated book. It's an incredibly diligent work, that talks you through the largest civil engineering project in Europe. I buy this for anyone passing through London, and regardless of nationality, they are always awestruck. Very impressive work, well presented and detailed in these pages.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 26 February 2013
This book is a pleasure to read.It has just the right balance of photos, text and diagrams. It covers all you might wish to know including the history of this station, the battle to retain the original Gothic structure and the planning,building and opening of the new St Pancras.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 15 March 2011
Delighted with this paperback. The hardback price was well out of my league, but this says it all in an economical edition.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 22 September 2012
A delightful book. Great photographs and interesting detail. However, two comments. 1) The book is too small! The format needs to be larger to make it more legible and to do justice to the exquisite photos, some of which seem to be only and inch square. I would suggest at least 230mm x 230mm. 2) A slight randomness to the illustrations where the 'before' pics are rather mixed up with the 'afters' without explanation. Otherwise a great companion to my 'Building the Eurotunnel' book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 7 June 2014
Wonderful book, clear beautiful photographs and illustrations of this now fully, lovingly restored place. As a regular visitor to London via St Pancras Station, it is a fascinating insight to the building. With each new visit, I look for different things, which are in the book. Now saving to stay at the hotel, for a once in a lifetimes treat LOL.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 20 April 2012
Believe I am the tenth reviewer to give this little book a perfect score. Excellent value for money even before the discounted price from Amazon. Informative , beautifully presented and photographed - it makes me wish I'd become an architect like my big brother instead of frittering my life away in marketing !
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