Green light for Heatherwick Studio’s Coal Drops Yard in Kings Cross

Argent and Heatherwick Studio
Developers Argent and Heatherwick Studio received today planning approval for their proposal for the transformation of the Coal Drops Yard complex in Kings Cross. Image: Forbes Massie
(Image credit: Heatherwick Studio)

Works in the fast-changing landscape of Kings Cross in central London are about the gather pace. The area's developers, Argent, teamed up with Heatherwick Studio earlier in the year, and submitted plans for the latest stage in the formerly neglected neighbourhood's redevelopment, Coal Drops Yard. And today, the team has received the green light to go ahead.

Known for its mix of wasteland and industrial buildings, many of which remained empty for years, Kings Cross is now undergoing a significant transformation. Coal Drops Yard is a complex of warehouses previously used for storage and light industry. The long complex runs parallel to the existing refurbished building of the Central St Martins School, off Granary Square, and under the new scheme it will be redesigned and extended - while important historic fixtures and fittings will be retained and repaired. 

The new structures are set to host a mix of 'independent retailers and signature brands', explains the team behind the project. Spanning some 100,000 sq ft and around 65 units, offerings will also include new restaurants, bars and cafes. A new public area will sit at the heart of the complex.

Adding an important retail element to Kings Cross' existing mix of modern offices and residential blocks – some completed, but many more ongoing and coming up – and reinforcing the area's leisure offerings, Coal Drops Yard is scheduled to be ready for 2018. Construction is due to begin in early 2016.

restaurants, cafes and bars

Consisting of a redesigned and extended set of warehouses, the complex will feature space for retail, as well as more restaurants, cafes and bars for the area. Image: MIR

(Image credit: Heatherwick Studio)

public spaces

Keeping a strong link with its context, the 100,000 sq ft complex will also include public spaces. Image: MIR

(Image credit: Heatherwick Studio)

For more information on Heatherwick Studio visit the website

Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture & Environment Director at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018), Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020) and House London (2022).