london approves heatherwick studio's coal drops yard retail destination london approves heatherwick studio's coal drops yard retail destination
dec 18, 2015

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.




    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    architecture news