Heatherwick studio‘s coal drops yard, the major shopping district in king’s cross, london, opens to the public today, 26 october. The project, whose construction begun in early 2016, breaths new life into a pair of elongated victorian coal drops which over the years had become partly derelict, acquiring various uses before partial abandonment in the 1990s.
The two heritage rail buildings have now been reinvented into a new shopping district with close to 60 units, alongside new restaurants, bars and cafes.
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 sq ft of new retail area, as well as significant 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 story, a large covered outdoor space, and a central focus for the entire site.
The coal drops yard is designed with entrances at both ends of the site and scattered along the adjacent street, 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 seventeen years,’ notes thomas heatherwick, founder of heatherwick studio. ‘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.’
Commissioned by king’s cross central limited partnership in 2014 to radically rethink the site, this project marks the first major building completion in london for heatherwick studio and one of several large-scale developments in the capital that the studio is currently working on.
“我们的挑战是从根本上改造这个维多利亚时代的基础设施，以满足现代城市发展的需要，同时又不失去使他们与众不同的东西，”赫斯维克工作室组长lisa finlay解释说，“为此，我们专注于了解他们的原始功能和它们如何随着时间的推移进行调整，以便我们了解如何最好地保留和重复使用现有的原建筑，同时还引入新的元素。 其中一个是一个完全独立的新建筑，穿过悠久的历史，更上一层楼。”
‘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.’