London’s ever-regenerating King’s Cross district welcomed a new set of trendy leisure options this week with the opening of shopping and dining hub Coal Drops Yard.
When at full capacity the development will host more than 50 shops, bars and restaurants in the historic buildings and arches adjacent to Granary Square and Regent’s Canal.
Lower Stable Street, a new area for pop-ups, live events and small businesses between Stable Street and Coal Drops Yard, also launched this week.
Both are just a short walk from the terminals at King’s Cross and London’s St Pancras.
Once an industrial hub, later known for its warehouse raves, King’s Cross is increasingly an upmarket food, drink and shopping destination, with companies such Google, Havas, Louis Vuitton and Universal Music headquartered there. Facebook is set to join them in 2021.
Coal Drops Yard originally opened in 1850 as a centre 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.
Heatherwick Studio, who redesigned the area’s layout and created additional structures, said they wanted to incorporate contemporary design into the surviving structures, streets and ironwork of the original Victorian coal drops.
“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,” said Thomas Heatherwick, Founder of Heatherwick Studio.
“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.”
Craig White, Senior Project Director at Argent, said: “We are delighted to be opening Coal Drops Yard. We have set out to foster a community of shopkeepers and restauranteurs that are connected by a commitment to quality, craft and innovation. With over 50 new stores, each an experience, and all set in the heart of King’s Cross, the opening of Coal Drops Yard will be like nothing else.”