by Bell Phillips Architects
Client King's Cross Central Limited Partnership
Awards RIBA London Award 2018
The Gasholder Park is a delightful public space created within the constraints of the Grade II listed gasholder in the residential heart of King’s Cross however seamlessly integral to its public realm setting overlooking the Regent’s Canal.
It is simplicity at its best, drawing people to the area and offering a relaxing, tranquil setting in a high-density urban environment. Overlooked by new residences and in close proximity to a primary school, it is safe and accessible by all.
Restoring the heavy cast-iron structure coupled with the new delicately polished sculptural fins and roof gives a captivating experience in a cloister-like walkway.
The decision to not compete with the dominance of the gasholder but instead propose a refined, engaging design which reflects light and views of its surrounding is to be applauded. The contemporary intervention helps to heighten the experience of the Victorian structure – a heartening dialogue between old and new.
The colonnade provides enclosure and openness at the same time with a variety of experiences and spaces to enjoy. There’s never the same experience twice as reflections of light and views infinitely alter.
Inside the continuous colonnade, the grass area is raised like a ‘hugging sofa’ facing towards the south and enjoying views over the canal. This simply creates an appealing bank to sit on or for young kids to run up and down.
The well thought out detailing of the brick paviours gracefully ground the sixteen cast iron columns on a pedestal and help to reconcile the various level changes around the gasholder with seating, steps and planting beds. It is poetic and harmonious on many levels from the choice of materials to the drama of the structure that hangs above you.
The location and the serenity of this new small park adds an invaluable asset to the growing community and is already an instant appeal to the local residents and visitors.
The judges also felt the collaboration between the client and architect came across as enjoyable as the experience of the place, which on this very sunny afternoon was simply perfect.
Internal Area 1,600 m²
Contractor BAM Nuttal
Contractor, Canopy and Landscape Carillion
Specialist Sub Contractor- Stainless Steel Canopy Littlehampton Welding
Specialist Sub Contractor- Gasholder Refurbishment Shepleys
Lighting Specialists Speirs and Major
Structural Engineers Arup
MEP Consultant Hoare Lea
Landscape Architects Townshend Landscape Architects
Project Management Argent
Quantity Surveyor / Cost Consultant Gardiner and Theobald
Project Architect Bell Phillips Architects