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Enveloping the Envelopes
Sometimes the station is the destination.
Several classic train stations have been enveloped by larger, more modern superstructures or have seen significant modern additions. Some notable examples include:
St. Pancras International, and Kings Cross Stations London: St. Pancras station, a Victorian-era construct, saw the addition of a modern extension to serve as the terminus for Eurostar trains connecting London to Paris and Brussels. The adjacent Kings Cross has seen modern extensions which integrate with the original structure, including the modernised Western Concourse.
Gare de Strasbourg, France: The original 19th-century station was enveloped by a large glass canopy in 2007. Designed by architect Jean-Marie Duthilleul, the contemporary glass façade now surrounds the historic building, creating a contrast between old and new.
Atocha Station, Madrid: The original Atocha Station, dating back to the 19th century, has been integrated into a much larger and more modern transportation complex. A new terminal building was built adjacent to the old station, which was then converted into a lush tropical garden and waiting area for passengers.
Sydney now joins the club, with the gorgeous remodel of Central Station, and the addition of the new Central Walk and remodel of the Northern Concourse, all in preparation for the under construction Sydney Metro (2024???). More is coming. While TfNSW often gets bashed, this came out really well. If you visit Sydney and you are reading this, miss the next train and wander around, sometimes the station is the destination.
These examples showcase how classic train stations can be integrated into modern superstructures while recognising their history and preserving their architecture.
If this happens on average once a century, we imagine a hypothetical future scenario where a massive superstructure encases the new train station superstructures that have been constructed around 19th-century train stations. This might be done to preserve the historical significance of these stations AND the historical significance of their extensions and original encasing superstructure.
Trains stations, like cities themselves are a palimpsest.