Thomas Heatherwick's King's Cross plaza to open by 2018

by Kim Megson | 18 Dec 2015

A mixed-use piazza designed by Heatherwick Studio for London’s King’s Cross has been given the green light.

Camden Council have approved Heatherwick’s plans to transform two disused Victorian coal drop buildings at King’s Cross railway station into 100,000sq m (1m sq ft) of culture and leisure space.

The historic structures, which stand apart, will be repaired and connected by a new upper level stitching their two roofs together. Inside, 65 units will be occupied by art galleries, restaurants, bars and retailers – with a focus on fashion and lifestyle. The surrounding coal yard will be transformed into a large public square.

“These two historic structures were never originally designed for people to circulate through,” said studio founder Thomas Heatherwick. “By themselves they would have never made a successful retail destination if we did nothing more than clean them and fill them with shops, because the distance between them is too great to have any social chemistry.

He added: “For this reason, rather than adding an entirely foreign new structure to connect the old buildings, we chose simply to bend and stitch the two roofs together, forming another level of activity underneath, and framing and weather-protecting a dynamic new public space for the city.

“We are thrilled to finally bring this extraordinary and largely unknown Victorian industrial site into public use for the first time.”

Construction due to start in early 2016 and be completed by Q2 2018.

The Heatherwick-designed space is just one component of the wider regeneration of King’s Cross, which is being developed by the King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership (KCCLP) in conjunction with property developer Argent.

Earlier this year saw the opening of the nearby Gasholder Park – designed by Bell Phillips Architects – which is encased in an enormous Victorian gasholder frame, while global restaurateurs D&D London have opened a new King’s Cross restaurant inside an 1860s German Gymnasium building.

Heatherwick Studio has worked on a number of high-profile London projects, including the Olympic Cauldron for the London 2012 Games and the forthcoming Garden Bridge.

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A mixed-use piazza designed by Heatherwick Studio for London’s King’s Cross has been given the green light. Camden Council have approved Heatherwick’s plans to transform two disused Victorian coal drop buildings at King’s Cross railway station into 100,000sq m (1m sq ft) of culture and leisure space. The historic structures, which stand apart, will be repaired and connected by a new upper level stitching their two roofs together. Inside, 65
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Camden Council have approved Heatherwick Studio's plans to transform two disused Victorian coal drop buildings at King’s Cross into 10,000sq m of culture and leisure space / Argent
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