Students gain insight from leading British architect

By Elliot Leadbetter

Third-year Architecture students in Leicester attended a guest lecture last week held by OBE-winning expert Alastair Lansley.

Mr Lansley was awarded an OBE for his services to public transport architecture including the world-famous St Pancras railway station, specifically the terminus of the high-speed rail line from the Channel Tunnel, now recognised as HS1.

Speaking at De Montfort University, he discussed his responsibilities, which included the reconstruction of the west side of the station, as well as a new contemporary 13-platform extension deck and refurbishment of the original station building.

Architecture students were required as part of their third-year assessment to visit St Pancras and design a building of their own, situated in the first floor of the train station where the Eurostar trains arrive.

Sam Butler, an architecture student in his third year, said: “Alistair gave us a better understanding of the relevance of St Pancras’ design and how it responded to the modern needs as a train station situated in central London.

Sam Butler with his designs

“We had a trip to St Pancras in week 1 which was great, and now that we have also had this lecture we should all be as equipped as possible for this project.

“He showed us how to play with old architecture and contemporary architecture and when it is appropriate to blend the two, it’s certainly beneficial for this piece of work.”

Students also heard about Mr Lansley’s role in various other public transport architectural projects, such as the award-winning redevelopment of London’s Liverpool Street station.

They also heard of his contribution to the Ashford International railway station in Kent, the first entrance into Britain for Eurostar services.

Chris Jones, Principal Lecturer in Architecture at DMU, said: “This was a fascinating technical lecture outlining the challenges of fusing the old with the new, as well as the importance of infrastructure.

“It ties in very well with the project we’ve set students for this term, reflecting the current issues of Brexit, European identity and diaspora.”

This is only the first in a sequence of high-profile guest lecturers that the architecture students are lucky enough to have visit them in their final year.

The list includes Duncan Roberts, CJ Lim and Alex de Rijke, Director of dRMM London Architects, whose Hastings Pier design has been shortlisted for the 2017 RIBA Stirling Prize.

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