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Waterloo "balcony"...latest Network Rail architectural vandalism

Discussion in 'London and the South East' started by teuchter, Oct 8, 2011.

  1. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    I'm really sad to find out that Network Rail are adding a "balcony" to the passenger concourse at Waterloo.
    It's a great space, a big sweeping curve with the famous station clock in the middle. It's already cluttered with the usual kiosks and the horrible barrier running along above the platform gates which is just a massive advertising hoarding blocking off the view into the platform area with the fairly recently restored glass roof.
    Now they are sticking this stupid balcony along the back of the concourse. The original building will effectively disappear behind it.
    Have they gotten away with this by means of the fact that railway buildings are exempt from planning permission?
    They are claiming it will provide "give passengers more space and better facilities" but it looks to me like it's just another station being turned into a shopping centre.

    Network Rail seem to specialise in insensitive alterations and get away with it because of this exemption. Likewise the giant portacabin stacks they seem to drop around the place to house their offices.
    The contrast between London Transport's generally exemplary approach to design couldn't contrast more with that adopted by Network Rail. Even their logo is rubbish.
    Rant over
  2. spanglechick

    spanglechick High Empress of Dressing Up

    it's not an attractive experience now (has a touch of the birmingham new streets). i can't believe it could be any worse.
    tufty79 and QueenOfGoths like this.
  3. quimcunx

    quimcunx Too tall.

    It would certainly look a lot smarter if more people were wearing uniforms. People are such scruffs these days.
    tufty79, Frankie Jack and Mrs Magpie like this.
  4. QueenOfGoths

    QueenOfGoths Fuck you Dave!

    Yeah, Waterloo Station is a fucking shithole at the moment plus for those of us who have fatigue/balance problems there is hardly anywhere to sit down.The facilities really can't be any worse than they currently are and the balcony looks, to me, like an improvement.
  5. rich!

    rich! stalin tache

    It's the inside of a train station. It's not about "loveliness", it's about mass movement of people and providing space and amenities for them while they are moving.

    Besides, have you seen the trains they put through that station? *shudder*
    QueenOfGoths likes this.
  6. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

  7. clicker

    clicker nanook rubs it....

    I think I may approve of this in theory....Waterloo station is a place perhaps better looked down on, to people watch at a higher level with a coffee and a croissant....the concourse itself is just a constant stream of pull along suitcases and spilt drinks drying on the terrazzo floor....and the clock could be seen at a new level level...so long as they don't mess with the exterior then I'll reserve judgement...i think a lot of the 'beauty' of the station is overlooked at concourse level. as it's too busy to look and appreciate...
  8. spanglechick

    spanglechick High Empress of Dressing Up

    the facade is lovely. the steps up to the grand front entrance. but it just doesn't have the space that made the st pancras redevelopment so breezy. and i can't see them doing a total staggered rebuild, as with kings cross. it's a long, narrow concourse. what else are you going to do with it to make it more pleasant while maintaining all the function (and that includes commerce)?
    QueenOfGoths likes this.
  9. Crispy

    Crispy The following psytrance is baŠĻČned: All

    Long-term, there are hand-wavy plans to put the concourse at ground level, with elevator access to the platforms (like St. Pancras). This would also allow the re-instatement of the tracks to London Bridge and beyond.
    Greebo likes this.
  10. spanglechick

    spanglechick High Empress of Dressing Up

    ooh would that also make waterloo east feel more gathered-in?
  11. AFAIK the balcony will offer access to the shops which used to clutter the concourse, allowing more people to cram in to the concourse when everything goes to pot and no trains are running.
  12. There'll be uniforms in my place of business. Skimpy French Maids for the girls for a start.
  13. quimcunx

    quimcunx Too tall.

    And for the men?

    Just for my mental files, you understand.
    Greebo likes this.
  14. quimcunx

    quimcunx Too tall.

  15. Pilot's uniform, think Catch Me If You Can.
    Greebo likes this.
  16. quimcunx

    quimcunx Too tall.

  17. stuff_it

    stuff_it stirred the primordial soup

  18. It's OK, you don't meet the public, I'll be the only one leering working in the office with you.
    stuff_it likes this.
  19. Mapped

    Mapped London town

    It's not that great, looks like it'll get in the way a bit

    I wish someone would do something about Euston though. That station is a monstrosity
  20. Look at the picture...


    No WHS, Sock Shop, Threshers etc. on the concourse.

    Won't last of course, but that''s supposed to be the idea.
  21. stuff_it

    stuff_it stirred the primordial soup

    There won't be a Threshers anyway... :p
  22. I'm sure there was, well it looked like a Threshers, sold booze and everything!
  23. stuff_it

    stuff_it stirred the primordial soup

    Back in 2008 again?
  24. I'm far more down wid da kidz dan dat..


    • Image details:

    • Type:JPGDate:4 Nov 2009
    • Camera:Canon 5D Mark II

  25. cybertect

    cybertect It's grim up north (London)

    I must admit I think it's preferable to the clutter of shops on the concourse if they do go permanently. Euston and Victoria have been much improved since they cleared away the florists, etc.

    Happens I've recently scanned some pics I took in March 1990 for a final year paper on design of urban transport systems.

    Waterloo Station concourse, March 1990 by cybertect, on Flickr
    stephj and skyscraper101 like this.
  26. cybertect

    cybertect It's grim up north (London)

  27. clicker

    clicker nanook rubs it....

    To be honest Waterloo has morphed into one big pie and pasty shop....how many variations are really needed....and only one chemist ...a Boots at the far end, cutting it fine for your train and in dire need of plaster and you run the length of the concourse in search of said item....where as you could stem the flow of blood with a tuna baguette in matter of seconds....
    miss giggles and Greebo like this.
  28. laptop

    laptop Freudenschade

    Does that mean destroying the warren of tunnels underneath the concourse? I keep finding more...
  29. temper_tantrum

    temper_tantrum The beauty of the ride

    You can't really appreciate the architectural magnificence of the original building at the moment anyway, you're too busy keeping your eyes at ground level, trying to avoid pissed-off commuters and not accidentally walk into a display of expensive notebooks and greetings cards (Paperchase) ... Taking all the shops etc out from the middle of the concourse floor would be marvellous. I expect it'd help the flow of people too. That station is one of the worst places in London for being unable to walk in a straight line because there are people coming at you from all directions, all the time. You can't cross the concourse without getting sworn/glared at at least 3 times.

    I agree with you about the barrier/advertising hordings above the platform gates, it looks much nicer in London Bridge station, now they've got rid of that and a clear line of sight through the station and out to the platforms is starting to emerge (surrounded by ongoing scaffolding and building works).
    salem likes this.
  30. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    Looks like much of the space saved by removing the kiosks will be taken up with the escalators up to the balcony and it looks like there's some kind of new kiosk thing in the middle under the clock.

    Somehow I feel this is more about creating extra retail space than making the concourse work better for passengers.

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