King’s Cross, London, has always been recognized as a major transport hub for the north of England, and with the refurbishment of neighboring St Pancras brings high speed access to the south and Eurostar trains across continental Europe. But today, this area is far more than a transit hub. With significant investment and regeneration, King’s Cross is becoming one of the most innovative places to work, shop and live in London. This is particularly true for media and tech businesses, including Google’s European HQ. Additionally, it is the home to arts and fashion students at the new University of the Arts Campus.
Originally built in the 1850’s for the purpose of receiving coal and freight from the north of England by train, this disused Victorian rail yard has found a new life for future generations. The developer’s (Argent) vision has been to retain the historical architecture to create a dramatic environment that will attract visitors to the 100,000 sf of boutiques, as well as signature domestic and international brands.
Key to the success of the development will be focusing on the tenant mix and introducing quality brands, which is in keeping with developer’s vision and strategy.
“We want every product sold to have a story behind it. Where the shop keepers’ passion for their wares must be tangible – they should know exactly how they were made and where they came from.”
This is to be a place where people can discover “beautiful, carefully chosen items,” with a focus on fashion, craft and culture, according to the developer Argent. “We want every product sold to have a story behind it. Where the shop keepers’ passion for their wares must be tangible – they should know exactly how they were made and where they came from.” Argent will encourage its tenants to create collections that can only be found in Coal Drops Yard. The Cushman & Wakefield Retail project team, led by Matt Hyland, is now leveraging the firm’s global network to access and introduce a very select group of tenants to this exciting development.
As well as providing a captivating retail experience, one of the main challenges for the architect (Heatherwick Studio) was to unite the two original coal drops buildings to create a striking raised atrium space. This will be one of many new interesting spaces – with the emphasis on discovery rather than conformity.
When Coal Drops Yard is completed it will bring new life to the original Victorian architecture, transformed into a retail environment that is at the heart of this culturally diverse and enterprising King’s Cross community.