Apex Heritage Cast Iron rainwater system from leading specialist Alumasc was commissioned as part of the £800 million extension and restoration of St Pancras International, London.
The extension and interior of the station comprised all the modern facilities expected in Britain’s most advanced station, however, work on the oldest Grade 1 listed part of the station called for the faithful and painstaking restoration of the gothic red brick façade, to retain the original detail of George Gilbert Scott’s design.
Existing rainwater systems, despite being almost 150 years old, were still in use. As part of the redevelopment project English Heritage insisted that any new rainwater details must faithfully reproduce the original patterns of the Victorian rainwater goods used when the station was first built. Alumasc worked closely with the main contractors to produce bespoke moulds, creating cast iron replicas of all the existing pipes and hoppers to take away rainwater from the vast single span roof, which is still the largest of its type in the world.
The external canopy to the station featured Moulded Ogee gutters and a number of special outlets. Alumasc also supplied 40 rainwater hoppers that faithfully replicated the aged hoppers in situ. For the downpipes, a basket weave effect was used on the sockets, again matching the existing installation. A number of non standard offsets were also required due to the undulations of the Victorian building’s walls. The Alumasc technical team designed each of these individually.
Modern cast iron provides all the benefits of strength, rigidity, longevity and silent operation, and when coupled with contemporary techniques, enables greater dimensional accuracy and a consistent surface ready to receive the final site finish. Alumasc’s Apex range of cast iron rainwater goods provides a choice of sand-cast products from stock in four heritage gutter profiles along with round, square or rectangular downpipes and complementary accessories.
The system used at St Pancras International, which, in common with the rest of the project, was completed on time and on budget by the Fullflow Group, not only provides the performance of modern rainwater installations but is also a key detail in the elaborate design of the building. The components supplied have proven performance and are realistically expected to last in excess of 100 years, they are also 100% recyclable.