Monday, 21 November 2011

History of Waverley Station [Abridged] and Why I Chose This Site


Waverley Station, Edinburgh is the second largest station per floor area in Briatain and catering for over 19.2million people a year is the second busiest in Scotland [Glasgow Central being the first]. Waverley lies between the old town and modern Edinburgh, adjacent to Princes Street, Edinburgh Castle and the Princes Street Gardens in the heart of the modern city centre which has also been awarded a protected UNESCO world heritage site title. The station was originally built on the site of a loch which was drained throughout the 19th century and first opened in 1846 and then was subsequently rebuilt between 1892 and 1902. During 2006 and 2007 parts of Waverley were extensively refurbished, including two new through platforms and the electrification of Platforms 12 to 18 in preparation for electric trains from the Airdrie-Bathgate Rail Link and future lines in Scotland to be electrified.From 2010, the glazing of the roof of Waverley station is being entirely replaced with new strengthened clear glass panels replacing the old 34,000 m2 of cloudy wired glass. Part of a £130 million upgrade, this will increase the amount of natural light in the station. Also included are plans to refurbish the station concourse and main building exterior together with upgrades to the Princes Street and Market Street entrances providing escalator and lift access.
There are a number of factors why I decided that Waverley would be an appropriate site for the project:

+ From a technical point of view there a good visual aspect as it lies in the centre of Princes Street Gardens and due to its central location can be filmed from a virtually 360 degrees. 

+ The site is a bridge between the old and the new town making it a curious crossroads of style, history and a functionally busy thoroughfare for traffic both pedestrian and vehicular.

+ Waverley was originally built and is surrounded by the type of neo-classical buildings which were created at the end of the 20th century/ early 21st century which is the era in which the Futurist’s were writing and embody the style of architecture and representation of society at the time which the Futurist’s were opposed against. 

+ Although visually I do not wholly approve or agree to the impact of placing a Futurist Railway station within a UNESCO World Heritage Site, I feel that this is exactly the type of site that the Futurist’s would have chosen due to the historical nature and context of the site.  I feel that this project will add to the already controversial debate surrounding Futurist theory while presenting a new story and application to the site of Waverley which is a well documented site both by scholars and modern tourists. 


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