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Bell Phillips gets the OK for King’s Cross pavilion

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Camden Council has approved plans by Bell Phillips Architects for a public pavilion in King’s Cross, central London 

The proposed single-storey, 200m² building on a sloping site in the south-west corner of Granary Square will include a café, public toilets and an external lift linking the square to Lower Stable Street.

The scheme will provide an entrance to Heatherwick Studio’s conversion of the nearby Grade II-listed coal drop buildings into a shopping quarter, which will feature 10,000m² of retail space when completed. 

Melissa Dowler, director at Bell Phillips Architects, said: ‘Our new pavilion provides valuable public facilities and an important connection between one of London’s most popular public spaces at Granary Square and the exciting new development at Coal Drops Yard.’

Backed by Argent, the pavilion is part of the developer’s major regeneration of the 27ha King’s Cross site in central London to an Allies and Morrison masterplan.

Julia Finlayson, project director at Argent, said: ’This new public pavilion forms a striking gateway between two distinct public spaces, Granary Square and Coal Drops Yard. We are delighted to be working with Bell Phillips on a design that complements perfectly Heatherwick Studio’s re-imagining of Coal Drops Yard, and positively contributes to the ever changing architectural landscape of King’s Cross.’

The pavilion scheme is expected to start on site in December, with a completion date scheduled for October next year. 

Site plan   credit townshend landscape architects

Site plan credit townshend landscape architects

Source: Townshend Landscape Architects

Site plan

Architect’s view 

The pavilion is the final piece in the design of Granary Square, one of London’s best-loved spaces. Bell Phillips Architects’ design is firmly rooted in the area’s railway heritage and will be a well-crafted, contemporary addition to the King’s Cross streetscape. The single-storey pavilion will house a public café extending the full length of the southern elevation as well as public toilet facilities. As the building is set into the slope, its design forms a bridge between Granary Square (by its roof, where a public lift provides a discreet marker and connects the square with the lower level) and the cobbled ramp taking shoppers into Coal Drops Yard.

The pavilion, yet to be named, features a decorative cast metal façade, combining the aesthetic language of Granary Square and the Yard. Patterns within the façade are both reminiscent of Victorian cast ironwork, and an abstraction of the chemical formation of coal. The façade envelops the building as it emerges from the slope of Coal Drops Ramp, and rises to form a balustrade to the extended public realm of Granary Square.

The new pavilion is Bell Phillips Architects’ third public realm project at King’s Cross. The award-winning Gasholder Park – a public green space and contemporary circular pavilion set within the restored guideframe of a Victorian gas holder – is a hugely popular space on the banks of the Regent’s Canal, while a second pavilion by the practice is designed to sit within the future landscape of Jellicoe Gardens.

With a focus on fashion, craft and culture, Coal Drops Yard will fuse the traditional with the contemporary, housing a unique mix of established and emerging retailers. Individual and independent shops, signature retail brands and new concepts from home and abroad will come together with cafés, bars, restaurants and public spaces to create a new shopping destination for London.

Project data

Architect Bell Phillips Architects
Landscape architect Townshend Landscape Architects
Structural engineer Price & Myers
Gross internal floor area 200m²
M&E Hoare Lea
Civil engineer Peter Brett Associates
Start on site date December 2017
Completion date October 2018


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