London, 18 July 2018 – King’s Cross announces that Coal Drops Yard, the new Heatherwick Studio-designed shopping and lifestyle district in London’s King’s Cross, will open its doors to the public on Friday, 26 October 2018. Four new brands have also today been confirmed to have joined the line-up: Tracey Neuls, Studio One Twenty, Morty & Bob’s and The Sports Edit.
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.
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 programme 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. A full list of retailers is available below.
Four new brands have today been confirmed to have joined the line-up:
Footwear and accessory designer Tracey Neuls, known for her stores curated as galleries, will create a store heavily inspired by Coal Drops Yard’s history. From hanging shoe displays to hosting collaborations with other like-minded creatives, Neuls’ stores always make for a thought provoking shopping experience. The Coal Drops Yards store will continue the trend, along with a specially designed ‘Bagley’s’ shoe in honour of the iconic London nightclub of the same name, previously located on the site.
“With so much sameness in the world, we enjoy offering a different viewpoint from shoes to shop,” says Neuls. “Coals Drop Yard’s history and mix of old and new was very appealing and a natural match for us. We are always challenging the norm and will continue exploring the different feelings that a retail space can evoke, developing a unique and inspirational venue in keeping with our personality.”
The Sports Edit, Europe’s leading destination for fashion-forward activewear, is opening a new flagship store. It will offer a carefully curated selection of the most stylish, innovative sportswear from across the world, as well as offering seasonal events and fitness workshops for the local community.
“Coal Drops Yard goes one step further to place Kings Cross as the ultimate London destination to visit and enjoy, and we can’t wait to be part of this exceptional development,” said Nick Paulson-Ellis, founder of The Sports Edit.
Morty and Bob’s is to open its second permanent location at Coal Drops Yard, expanding from its original home at Hackney’s Netil House, where it is has become locally famed for serving up serious grilled cheese, delectable salads and a weekend brunch with a queue. Morty & Bob’s will now revolutionise the lunch break and create a new evening hang out in Kings Cross, bringing a concept menu of coffee, all-day hot sandwiches and a ‘London suppliers’ bar to Coal Drops Yard, all served open-plan in a reimagined ‘coal drop’ directly accessible from Granary Square.
Finally, independent concept store S120 will be expanding from its Islington base to open a second, larger location, housing an eclectic mix of brands spanning fashion, accessories and homeware.
With its innovative shopping experience, canal-side location in the heart of King’s Cross and state-of-the-art architecture, Coal Drops Yard is set to become a magnet for shoppers and visitors from across London, the UK and further afield when it opens this October.
Thomas Heatherwick, Founder of Heatherwick Studio, said: “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. 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.”
Craig White, Senior Project Director at Argent, said: “We are delighted to be able to announce the official opening date of 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. This is very much now taking shape, with the four exciting new signings today very much displaying these qualities. 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.”
Anna Strongman, Coal Drops Yard Development Manager and Partner at Argent, said: “Coal Drops Yard is an amazing achievement, a bold vision delivered by a dedicated team with a diverse set of skills. This diversity will be mirrored in those who visit – Coal Drops Yard will have something for everyone, and will always offer a reason to return. It is an extremely complex project, one that successfully unites the area’s heritage with Heatherwick Studio’s progressive architecture, creating stimulating spaces for both the brands and the people that will bring these buildings back to life. Coal Drops Yard will be a vital part of the King’s Cross experience, and we thoroughly look forward to welcoming the public to discover it this October.”