Coal Drops Yard By Heatherwick Studio Has Opened To The Public ⇒ London’s newest shopping district, “Coal Drops Yard“, designed by Heatherwick Studio has finally opened to the public. Construction began back in 2016 and now brings life back into two Victorian coal drops that were abandoned since the 1990s. The two heritage rail buildings in Kings Cross have now been reinvented as a new shopping district with close to 60 units, alongside new restaurants, bars, and cafés.
As a long-time resident of the area, Heatherwick Studio has developed a design that celebrates the specific texture and history of the Victorian industrial buildings while creating 100,000 square feet of retail and public space. The two cast-iron and brick structures have been transformed through the extension of the inner gabled roofs of the warehouses to link the two viaducts and define the yard, as well as creating fluid patterns of circulation.
Supported by a new, highly technical freestanding structure, the flowing roofs rise up and stretch towards each other until they touch, forming an entirely new upper storey, a large covered outdoor space, and a central focus for the entire site. Coal Drops Yard is designed with entrances at both ends of the site, as well as along the adjacent street — a gesture which will allow it to become a distinctive public space, contributing to the wider transformation of the area.
‘It has been a huge privilege working on coal drops yard, not only because it’s the studio’s first major building completed in London, but also because it is in King’s Cross, where my studio and I have been based for the last 17 years,’ notes Thomas Heatherwick.‘ These amazing Victorian structures were never originally built to be inhabited by hundreds of people, but instead formed part of the sealed-off infrastructure of London. After serving so many varied uses throughout the years, we’ve been excited by the opportunity to use our design thinking to finally open up the site, create new spaces and allow everyone to experience these rich and characterful buildings.’
The project, which was commissioned by King’s Cross central limited partnership in 2014, is Heatherwick Studio’s first major building in London and is one of several large-scale developments in the capital that the firm is currently working on.
‘Our challenge was to radically remodel this Victorian infrastructure to meet the needs of a modern urban development without losing what made them special,’ explains Lisa Finlay, group leader at Heatherwick Studio, ‘to do this, we focused on understanding their original function and how they were adapted over time so we could appreciate how best to preserve and reuse the existing fabric, whilst also introducing new elements. one of which is an entirely free-standing new structure threaded through the historic buildings, from which a spectacular new third level is suspended.’
Source: Design Boom
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