THE STORY BEHIND THE BUILDING
The redesigned warehouses of Coal Drops Yard are a perfect intersection of past and present. Buildings in constant evolution: from coal store to nightclub to contemporary space. They’ve come a long way since the dark days of Victorian London…
In the 1850s, the capital was a smoky coal-powered city, and the drops at King’s Cross were constructed to process this vital fuel. Trains entered the long galleries, dropping their loads through holes to the lower levels.
Years later the handsome structures became abandoned and, in the late 1980s, UK rave culture began. Sound systems moved in, rattling the rusting ironwork and waking the crumbling warehouses. Three floors shook every Saturday night under the feet of 2,500 clubbers at legendary venue, Bagley’s.
Today we see the building’s latest reinvention. Heatherwick Studio’s new architectural design links two brick and cast-iron constructions with rising gabled roofs, reaching to meet each other seamlessly in the middle. The restoration was sensitive to the listed Victorian structures and cobbled courtyard. At COS, we took the same approach in-store, balancing a calm, modern aesthetic with surviving industrial details.