New pedestrian bridge given go-ahead at London’s King’s Cross

Posted: Monday 26th October 2020

Plans for a new pedestrian bridge at King’s Cross, linking Pancras Square with the new shopping and dining district of Coal Drops Yard, have been approved by Camden Council.

Moxon Architects, working with engineers Arup, have designed the new pedestrian bridge for the King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership (KCCLP). It will span the Regent’s Canal forming an important connection between the south of the site and the shops and eateries of Coal Drops Yard.

Following the restoration and reopening of Coal Drops Yard in 2018, this bridge represents the final step of reinstating the heritage of this part of the site. It replaces a bridge constructed circa 1821 in the same position on the canal and which was used to transport coal to the Goods Yard. The original bridge was taken down in the 1920s, when rail freight went into decline and it was no longer needed for transportation purposes.

The new 25m long bridge has been inspired by the industrial past of the King’s Cross with the architects carefully ensuring it complements its historical context. The new bridge takes inspiration from lost railway bridges across the canal including its predecessor. Meanwhile, it reimagines and responds to the needs of the modern-day community, linking two key parts of the estate together, improving access to Coal Drops Yard and its amenities for office workers and visitors alike.

The prominent structure will be made primarily of painted carbon steel with a simple yet expressive truss form. The bridge’s bold red colour and integrated lighting will highlight its form while complementing the patination and colouration of the neighbouring cityscape. In this way the bridge will serve as a wayfinding element within the wider urban context.

For special events, the lighting will change colour, creating an attractive focal point. During live events the bridge will serve as a balcony, creating a new vantage point for experiencing the canal below and the seasonal activities on the adjacent Granary Square steps.

The bridge is the second at King’s Cross to be designed by Moxon Architects, having designed the Somers Town Bridge in 2017 which links Camley Street Natural Park with Gasholder Park.

Will Colthorpe, Partner, King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership comments: “Not only does this bridge re-imagine another important piece of industrial heritage at King’s Cross, it will also be a fantastic asset, connecting the offices, bars and restaurants of Pancras Square with the shops and eateries of Coal Drops Yard – bringing two much loved areas together. We are thrilled that the new bridge has received planning permission.”

Ezra Groskin, Associate at Moxon said: “Working for King’s Cross on our second bridge in the area alongside colleagues at Arup has been a true joy. Building on our strong three-way relationship the team has confidently pursued an ambitious design. The focus on public realm at King’s Cross draws visitors to the spaces between buildings as much as the buildings themselves and helping to link these spaces has been our task. The new bridge will create a clear connection over the Regent’s Canal, further demonstrating a commitment to quality, design and appropriateness. Inspired by the area’s industrial heritage the bridge’s articulation is expressive and sculptural, innovative and delightful.​”

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