london approves heatherwick studio's coal drops yard retail destination

london approves heatherwick studio's coal drops yard retail destination

‘coal drops yard’ will be a new retail and commercial destination located next to regent’s canal — near london’s kings cross station. the project will be led by heatherwick studio, whose ambitious proposal features 65 units of varying sizes that will accommodate an eclectic array of independent retail shops, restaurants, and signature brands. the developed is scheduled to complete by 2018.


the scheme will unite an eclectic mix of independent retailers and signature brands
image by mir (main image by forbes massie)



the context and location itself has a history dating back to 1850. the original buildings were once used for coal storage and warehousing until the 1980s when they were transformed into nightclubs. its current stage of adaptive re-use will see the area being adopted as a lifestyle and fashion destination, with the existing victorian buildings restored and re-purposed.


coal drops yard has been designed to be a shopping experience unlike any other. the design by heatherwick studio is a considered response to the important victorian industrial buildings from the 1850s,’ comments morwenna hall, senior projects director, king’s cross. ‘in fact, the ability for future visitors to the coal drops yard will appreciate the history and various functions of these buildings has been fundamental to the design process.’

the extension intends to makes use of traditional materials appropriate to the historic building
image by mir



heatherwick’s architectural strategy proposes an extension composed of traditional materials appropriate for its context, while the addition of a new upper level will improve the site’s overall connectivity.


‘we are thrilled to finally bring this extraordinary and largely unknown victorian industrial site into public use for the first time.’ comments thomas heatherwick. ‘these two historic structures were never originally designed for people to circulate through and by themselves would have never made a successful retail destination if we did nothing more than clean them and fill them with shops… so 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.’


read our recent interview with designer thomas heatherwick here.




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