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Bell Phillips + Kimble scoop King's Cross gasometer contest

Up-and-coming London-based outfit Bells Phillips + Kimble has won the competition to re-use a redundant gasholder in King’s Cross, London

The practice’s ‘imaginative’ events space proposal, which includes a water pool and amphitheatre, beat four other finalists (see below) and more than 80 submissions to land the prize project.

The competition, which has a budget of £2.4 million, was judged by a panel from the King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership (Argent, London & Continental Railways and DHL).

Bridget Evans, project director at King’s Cross Central, described the selection process as a ‘fascinating process’. She said: ‘We asked for big ideas and that is certainly what we got.  The winning design works on several levels for King’s Cross Central – it will be accessible with multiple uses, it’s fun, has style and it will create an enchanting space for local communities to enjoy.’

Commenting on the victory Hari Phillips, from Bell Phillips + Kimble said: ‘The combination of the gasholder structure and its location overlooking the Regent’s Canal sets the scene for a truly fantastic project.’

Intriguingly the scheme only received just over 2 per cent of an online poll. According to AJ readers, Julian Hakes’ large reflective ball should have won, having bagged 43 per cent of the vote.

Speaking to the AJ, Hakes said that he was hoping to find another home for the scheme, adding ‘it would make a great Serpentine Pavilion’.

Previous story: 10.09.09

AJ exclusive: Five firms vie to revamp King’s Cross gasholder

The AJ can reveal the practices shortlisted in the competition to ‘revamp and reinvigorate’ a redundant gasholder in King’s Cross, London.

Bell Phillips + Kimble has proposed an events space and gardens; Feix & Merlin a helter-skelter slide; and Gustafson Porter, the Diana Memorial fountain architect, a landscaped space. Also in the running are Hakes Associates, with an events space inside a reflective ball, and Europan 8 winners Loop Architecture, with a pavilion and surrounding landscape.

The competition, which has a budget of £2.4 million, was judged by a panel from the King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership (Argent, London & Continental Railways and DHL).

Bridget Evans, project director at King’s Cross Central, said: ‘The varied nature of the shortlisted entries is a clear indication that the project has really captured the imagination of architects and landscape designers.

‘This puts us firmly on the right track to achieve our ambition of creating a truly unique public space.  The gasholders have become synonymous with King’s Cross and they are an important reminder of its industrial past.’

The five practices beat more than 75 entries to reach the final. They will present their detailed schemes to the contest jury over the coming weeks and the winner will be announced at the end of October.

Readers' comments (1)

  • feriHa  ozTURK

    This area is very important for London..will be modern extension for land,which is between stations..i would like to say that Loop Architecture's proposal can develop and it is suitable design for gas holders..

    Unsuitable or offensive?

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