Heatherwick's Coal Drops Yard Opens in London

John Hill
26. October 2018
Photo: Hufton+Crow

The project is the restoration and transformation of a pair of Victorian warehouses that were built in 1850 to receive coal from the North of England and feed the city's appetite for the resource. The two two-story buildings now house stores and restaurants and line a pedestrian street. Overhead is the most overt expression of Heatherwick's design: "kissing" rooftops that appear to unroll from the existing warehouses. Like the Studio's Zeitz MOCAA, which opened last year in Cape Town, the design of Coal Drops Yard plays off the original structures, imbuing them with Heatherwick's respectful yet humorous take on history.

Coal Drops Yard is just one of the many projects taking place in the redevelopment of King's Cross, the area centered about King's Cross Station and neighboring St. Pancras Station. The area, which Heatherwick Studio calls home, is most notably the site of Google's planned £1 billion London headquarters, being designed by Heatherwick and Bjarke Ingels. Home to more than 50 stores, restaurants and cafés, Coal Drops Yard should be a popular destination for Google employees once their HQ is realized — and all of the people flocking to King's Cross in the meantime.

Coal Drops Yard reimagines a set of historic buildings adjacent to Granary Square and Regent's Canal in London's King Cross. (Photo: Luke Hayes)
The main architectural statement of the reimagined place is Heatherwick Studio's "kissing" rooftops. (Photo: Luke Hayes)
The rooftops meet above a pedestrian street lined with new stores housed in the old two-story warehouses. (Photo: Luke Hayes)
Inside the upper-story and its "kissing" roofs. (Photo: Hufton+Crow)
King's Cross is home to Coal Drops Yard but also Thomas Heatherwick's studio, which has been based in the area for 17 years. (Photo: Heatherwick Studio)

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