Coal Drops Yard, the new shopping and lifestyle district in London's King's Cross, will open its doors to the public on October 26, 2018. Coal Drops Yard will be a vibrant new shopping district at the centre of King's Cross, home to over 50 stores, restaurants and cafés, bringing together a community of like-minded brands in a reimagined set of historic buildings and arches directly adjacent to Granary Square and Regent's Canal.
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 legendary nightclubs Bagley's and The Cross. The area is now reopening, 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.
No space at Coal Drops Yard is the same. Stores and restaurants are located in canal-side arches fronting on to cobbled courtyards, within the original 'coal drops' themselves and across a series of raised iron viaducts. Larger statement stores sit at each street corner, with one dual-aspect space crowning the street, located directly beneath Heatherwick Studio's striking 'kissing' rooftops. Lower Stable Street, a sunken street between Coal Drops Yard and Stable Street, will also open this October, offering spaces for a range of smaller pop-up and experimental stores, complementing and offering a different aspect to the Coal Drops Yard experience.
"My studio has been based in King's Cross for over 17 years, so it's been an enormous privilege to reinvent such a locally significant site," commented Thomas Heatherwick, Founder of Heatherwick Studio. "These extraordinary buildings were first built in 1850 and have lived an unusually rich past, first serving as infrastructure, then warehousing and offices. To most people, they are famous for having hosted nightclubs for over a decade. We believed there was an opportunity to celebrate the heritage of the existing structures rather than destroy them.
"As the opening approaches, we're all looking forward to seeing how Coal Drops Yard can not only serve as an unusual place for shopping and eating but also become a destination in its own right; a special new space that the public can make their own."
Alongside a series of independent stores, Coal Drops Yard will house a range of cafés and bars, top restaurants and new public spaces, making it an oasis-like space for visitors to dwell, discover and to explore. Special in-store events, workshops, pop-ups and talks will all feature as part of an ongoing program of activities and events.
The stores themselves will be showcases for some of the world's most forward-thinking brands, each an experience and all one-off concepts created using the unique heritage spaces they sit within as a muse and an inspiration. Paul Smith, Tom Dixon, Samsung, Cubitts, Universal Works, Maya Magal and Le Chocolat - as well as restaurants Barrafina, Casa Pastor and wine bar The Drop - are among those to have been confirmed to take space so far.
Images: Courtesy of Heatherwick Studio