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Bell Phillips creates gateway to Coal Drops Yard, King’s Cross

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The 220m² pavilion provides a public lift creating a connection between Granary Square and Lower Stable Street in London’s King’s Cross

Bell Phillips Architects completed the new public pavilion at the gateway to Coal Drops Yard early last year. The scheme, which completes the south-western corner of Granary Square, incorporates a café, public washrooms and public lift providing access between Granary Square and Lower Stable Street.

The single-storey pavilion, for developer Argent, sits within the King’s Cross masterplan and is just a short walk from King’s Cross station. It is located adjacent to the restored railway arches of Coal Drops Yard, providing a gateway to Heatherwick Studio’s conversion of the Grade II-listed coal drop buildings into a shopping centre. The pavilion accommodates a 105m² café operated by Sons + Daughters.

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Kilo02950005 crop

Within the pavilion, spaces have been organised so that the secondary functions are deeper within the plan. The café’s southern façade sits adjacent to the historic ramp, creating a strong visual connection to the urban plaza. This façade has been constructed from cast iron, referencing the site’s industrial past. Its abstracted pattern is derived from the molecular arrangement of coal and reappears as a motif on the lift shaft. 

Working closely with landscape architect Townshend, also responsible for designing the urban realm around the pavilion, Bell Phillips designed the roof of the pavilion to flow into the south-west corner of Granary Square. Hard landscaping and new planting create a seamless threshold between the two areas.

Camden Council approved Bell Phillips’ plans for the pavilion in 2017.

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Architect’s view

The new pavilion has been designed to be a discreet and sensitive, yet delightful addition to the King’s Cross area. It provides valuable public facilities and strengthens the ties between Granary Square and Coal Drops Yard.

Hari Phillips, director, Bell Phillips Architects

Unannotated ground floor plan coloured

Site plan

Client’s view

The redevelopment of King’s Cross has involved the interesting combination of restored historic structures around Granary Square and high-quality contemporary interventions. The Granary Square pavilion fits well within its setting and will contribute to the lively mix of offerings in the immediate area.

Tom Callaway, senior development manager, Argent

We couldn’t be more delighted to have found a home for Sons + Daughters at the Granary Square Pavilion. We’d always envisaged something simple and modern, with clean lines and lots of natural light, so feel quite lucky to be based within the pavilion.

James Ramsden and Sam Herlihy, co-founders, Sons + Daughters

P0040 facade glazing axonometric

Axonometric of facade glazing

Project data

Start on site October 2017
Completion January 2019
Gross internal floor area 220m²
Gross (external) floor area 245m²
Form of contract or procurement Design and build
Construction cost Undisclosed
Architect Bell Phillips Architects
Client Argent
Structural engineer Price & Myers
M&E engineer Hoare Lea
Civil engineer Peter Brett Associates
Lighting designer Speirs & Major
Quantity surveyor Gardiner & Theobald
Landscape architect Townshend Landscape Architects
Principal designer representative BCAL Consulting
Approved building inspector Camden Council Building Control
Main contractor BAM
Cast iron fabricator FSE Foundry
CAD software used MicroStation

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