Coal Drops Yard - Kings Cross Feature

I spent the day yesterday shooting scenes and details of Coal Drops Yard at Kings Cross.

The area has had an enormous transformation over the past 5 or so years as it was a really run down, depressing area full of old repurposed sheds and disused warehouses. I remember racing for a number of years in the 90's on a go-kart track housed in one of these buildings and also recall how rudimentary the facilities were!

In 2016 all this changed when architect Thomas Heatherwick designed the new shopping complex. The standout part, for me, is the way he connected the two sheds (now arcades) with the "kissing roof" to form this iconic structure.


The shopping centre is located next to a housing complex within the old gas works alongside Regent's Canal mirroring the way Coal Drops Yard has preserved the old within the new.


There is so much to photograph here. Almost as soon as I emerged from King's Cross underground station there were pictures to be had. It has been described by one journalist as a place for "shopping in the Instagram age" and you can understand his (slightly snide) comment.

From the many columned David Chipperfield designed building directly in front of me, through the passageway leading to the shopping complex (via the Google office) there are plenty of opportunities to create; and that's even before crossing Regent's Canal into the Yard proper.

Three views of the David Chipperfield designed building

I'd designed my shoot so I would start in the middle of the day meaning I would get some shots later when the sun was going down. The sun at this time of year is fairly low anyway which allowed some atmospheric shots even at 1pm


My first stop after crossing the canal was Coffey Architects three storey office block on the corner of York Road  and Handyside Street as I loved the distinctive roofline and the perforated aluminium panels and form recall the industrial architecture of the sheds that would have been there previously. Unfortunately when I got there there was a cherry picker doing some remedial work so I couldn't get the building as a whole but had to focus on the detail, juxtaposing the clean silver aluminium skin against the deep pink of its next door neighbour, the R7 building, designed by Morris+Company

The perforated aluminium panels of 22 Handyside Street

From there I walked around the back of Coal Drops Yard, looking for features and details before heading into the shopping complex itself. 
Handyside Street entrance
The Aga Khan Centre - Designed by Fumihiko Maki

The lowering light allowed me to start constructing shapes and colours from the buildings and their surroundings. While moving through the centre so many abstract details emerged, it was hard to stop and really think about what to shoot. Not a bad position to be in.


I then moved on to Gasholder Park to again explore the combination of the industrial heritage of King's Cross with the contemporary architecture.The sun was fading and provided some beautiful light to shoot these steel frames in. kx_13jpg
Gasholder Park

With night drawing in I made my way back towards King's Cross station pausing to shoot the fantastic skies and buildings within Coal Drops Yard

So many great opportunities to think and work creatively in a very small area. I know I will return here as there are far more opportunities to explore.