Gasholder Park

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Application Type

Civic Trust Awards

Level of Award

Commendation

Region

Greater London

Local Authority Area

Camden

Information about this scheme

The 25 metres-high circular guide frame consists of 16 hollow cylindrical cast iron columns in two tiers and two levels of wrought iron riveted lattice girders. The structure is Grade II Listed and, for a while, was on the English Heritage ‘At Risk’ register. The fragile structure, was painstakingly dismantled before being transported piece-by-piece to Yorkshire for refurbishment. Within the cast iron guide frame, a 30 metres-diameter polished stainless-steel canopy has been added that forms a continuous colonnade around a wide grass area overlooking the canal. The canopy’s 150 delicate fin columns were constructed from 25mm thick stainless-steel panels, polished to a mirror finish, reflecting light and views of the surrounding area and offering a playful juxtaposition against the gasholder frame. The columns have been carefully arranged, with a wide spacing near the canal that invites people into the park and allows clear views towards the canal. The stainless-steel canopy incorporates a geometric pattern of perforations that increases in density from north to south. These were precisely fabricated using computer-aided water jet cutting technology, ensuring a delicate and refined approach that offers an interesting contrast with the heavy, industrial character of the gasholder frame. The canopy provides enclosure and definition to the central space: it’s pure and simple form unobtrusively offering a human scale to the park while ensuring the gasholder frame remains centre stage. The canopy perforations increase in density towards the canal to create a sense of openness, and a beautiful dappled effect as sunlight filters through. Alongside the central area, new planting around the frame offers colour, texture, sensory stimulation and seasonal variation within and across the wider King’s Cross redevelopment area, bringing a cohesive yet varied approach to the area’s public realm.

Credits

Architect

Bell Phillips Architects

Client

King's Cross Central Limited Partnership

Main Contractor

Carillion (Canopy and landscape)

Main Contractor

BAM Nuttal (Gasholder frame refurbishment and re-erection)

Services Engineer

Hoare Lea

Primary Use Class

Class E1 - Public Realm