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Under construction: first peek at Heatherwick’s King’s Cross shopping scheme


New photographs have been released of Heatherwick Studios’ conversion of two Grade II-listed coal drop buildings at King’s Cross, a scheme which is currently under construction

The shopping centre scheme, which is due to complete in autumn 2018, features a ‘kissing’ roof, weighing 1,350 tonnes, connecting the two existing buildings.

Backed by developer Argent as part of the King’s Cross Development Partnership, the 10,000m² retail scheme aims to ‘secure the long-term future of the historic [structures] built in the 1850s to receive freight arriving from the north of England’.

The £100 million Coal Drops Yard project was approved by Camden Council in late 2015 (see AJ 18.12.15), despite coming in for criticism from heritage groups, who complained that the proposals would damage the historic structures.

The project is being built by BAM Construct.

Scheme Coal Drops, R1 and Zone B
Contractor Bam Construct UK
Developer Argent (wider King’s Cross development)
date Early 2016 (Coal Drops Yard)
Completion Autumn 2018 (Coal Drops Yard)





Readers' comments (2)

  • Industry Professional

    Heatherwick lacks a total empathy or understanding of history and heritage. He only bothers considering it when he can take total ownership of it and contort it to suit his agenda, forcing it and all it represents into a one-line gimmick.

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  • It's all about the value of superficial 'look at me' novelty - in this case being put above the value of architecture as part of history (by both the financiers, the planning authority and even the government), by gross interference with the character of a building group worth conserving in its own right.
    Hans Christian Andersen famously wrote about the underlying philosophy behind this sort of stuff - 'The Emperor's New Clothes'.

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