St. Pancras

18 Feb, 2020
Edward Roberts

Securing St. Pancras

The historic St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel is an iconic London building steeped in history. The building forms the frontispiece of St Pancras Railway Station.

Initially a hotel, the hotel closed and became offices for British Rail. Under threat of demolishment, campaigners across London united to ensure that this historic building was protected.

Following a successful campaign, the hotel was listed and given Grade I status meaning that it will continue to be preserved.

Any works to the surrounding environment need to go through a substantial approval process and need to be sympathetic to the historical façade of the building.

Project Brief

The iconic status of the Renaissance hotel building elevated the infrastructures threat profile. Under advice from a Counter Terror Security Advisor, the hotel approached ATG Access to explore perimeter security options to secure the front of the building.

Project Overview


Three main areas surrounding the iconic, St Pancras estate needed an aesthetically sympathetic physical security design. Firstly, the Grade I listed hotel frontage, the connecting pedestrian access between the hotel and St Pancras Station and the station itself.

Hotel Front

To secure the entrance to the hotel, shallow foundation, high-security bollards were chosen. The ground surrounding the hotel had a wealth of services located directly under the hotel entrance and to redirect these would have been a huge and unnecessary investment.

This meant that traditional depth bollards were unable to be installed within this particular area. Shallow foundation bollards are also very quick to install and so the disruption caused by installing such a product would be minimal, limiting inconvenience for the hotel and guests.

The main challenge for this site was the stringent aesthetic requirements needing to be adhered to. Modern, stainless steel bollards were not an option to secure this heritage site. Before the product design was finalised, ATG worked with the project’s lead architect to produce several sample sleeve designs which were in keeping with the hotel’s architecture and history.

Ultimately, the client chose a bespoke, burgundy sleeve design which blended into the existing building’s façade and Heritage England approved the installation.

Pedestrian Access

To walk from the hotel site to the front of the Station, there is a pedestrian walkway which leads you down a set of stairs. The stairs required a level of protection to ensure continuity and the removal of any perimeter vulnerabilities.

The same bollard design was used to protect the steps. Bespoke handrails were also added to connect the bollards and ensure pedestrian safety.

St. Pancras Station

The entrance to St. Pancras station itself is very different from that of the hotel. The station entrance has been designed to be modern with a huge glass building façade.

This part of the station overlooks the very modern King’s Cross Square development which consists of a large, landscaped space with bars and restaurants.

The security chose for this area of the site needed to be in keeping with a different approach to design.

The architect decided to commission shallow foundation stainless steel bollards to complement this different style of building design.

Shallow foundation bollards had to be specified again within this area because the London Underground ticket hall ceiling sits just 300 mm below ground level. This meant that the bollards needed to be installed within the 300 mm suspended slab foundation.

The End Result

The entire St Pancras hotel and station complex all benefitted from architecturally sympathetic security measures.

The surrounding area now has a holistic, high-security design and installation which protects the urban area against attack and accidental vehicle impact.

The actual installation of the security measures caused minimum disruption due to the use of shallow foundation products. These products require very little surface excavation (176 mm) and can be set and fitted quickly and effectively.

The entire urban and heritage area is completed with all bollards having a finish which meets strict architectural and security requirements.

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