Arriving at St. Pancras International in London on a busy Saturday morning, was something of a culture shock. Searcys Champagne Bar was overflowing with guests enjoying a glass or two before embarking on the Eurostar to Paris. The vibe was infectious, filling this part of this marvelous architectural masterpiece. Before embarking on my own train for a slightly less glamorous destination, Nottingham, I rambled around the concourse, head tilted upwards taking in this breathtaking spectacle. St. Pancras International has successfully combined the romance of the railway station with a retail experience second to none. Quite rightly, St. Pancras International has been crowned the UK´s “Great Place for 2015”.
Leaving the station for the north, I began contemplating how Copenhagen´s Central Station has struggled finding the balance as a hub for the 90.000 souls that pass through daily and as a retail experience worth visiting. The building may not be as imperious as it´s counterpart in London, however it does boast a wealth of detail, which the latest addition Mad Cooperativet, Food Cooperative exploits wonderfully. This new concept from Coop enhances the best from all of its different supermarket brands, focusing on local organic products presented in a location that reminds me of Whole Foods and Dean & Delucca in New York, a comparison to be proud off. As part of the Food Cooperative, Meyers, Copenhagen`s master baker bar none, has allied himself to this project, which is interesting as the man himself is embarking on an ambitious project, a food pavilion in the Vanderbilt Hall at Grand Central Station opening in November this year. New York commuters can look forward to a Nordic experience, both for the eye and the taste buds.
Hopefully this focus on one corner of Copenhagen´s Central Station can motivate the powers that be to upgrade the rest of the building, providing the city with yet another public space worth visting.