High on my go-and-explore list for my next visit to London is Coal Drops Yard. This new shopping area at the heart of King’s Cross, a former industrial neighbourhood, opened about one month ago. An architectural beauty on just a 5-minute walk from St Pancras and King’s Cross stations.
Coal Drops Yard and Lower Cable Street
The beautifully renovated site will soon be the home to over 50 stores, restaurants and cafés, bringing together like-minded brands in a reimagined set of historic buildings, gasholders and arches directly adjacent to Granary Square and Regent’s Canal.
Close to Coal Drops Yard is Lower Stable Street, a new street for pop-ups, live events and experiential stores from a creative collective of established and up-and-coming brands. Curated by independent magazine, KIOSK N1C, Lower Stable Street is a sunken street between Stable Street and the main Coal Drops Yard, the home of 11 smaller spaces set to host brand workshops, one-off events and immersive shopping experiences that celebrate fashion, beauty, music, culture and the arts.
Coal Drops Yard was originally established in 1850 to handle the eight million tonnes of coal delivered to the capital each year, and was latterly the location of nightclubs Bagley’s and The Cross. The area has now reopened, reinvented by the acclaimed Heatherwick Studio, which has interwoven a contemporary design with the surviving structures, streets and rich ironwork of the original Victorian coal drops.
Space Frames installation
The Space Frames, by Eindhoven-based design practice Studio Mieke Meijer, are a dynamic handmade installation that responds to the architecture of their location; tracing the arches and mimicking the graphic outlines of Coal Drops Yard’s industrial structures. They act as landmarks, drawing visitors towards and beneath them and as beacons, visible across the landscape of Coal Drops Yard and Granary Square and beyond. Roy Letterlé and Mieke Meijer of Studio Mieke Meijer cite the abandoned industrial buildings of their home town of Eindhoven as a direct influence on their work.
(On view until 6 January 2019)
Watch this behind the scenes video, which was shot almost two years ago during the construction:
A word from the architect, Thomas Heatherwick:
Location and more info
Shops at Coal Drops Yard: Paul Smith, Tom Dixon, Cubitis, Lost Property of London, Rains, COS, Aesop and many others.
London N1C 4DQ