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Kings Cross gasholder winner announced

Bell Phillips + Kimble architects has been selected as the winner of King’s Cross Central’s Gasholder No. 8 design competition.

The competition to create a new use for the disused gasholder No8 by Kings Cross has a construction budget of £2.5M

Originally constructed in the 1850s, the distinctive 25m high circular guide frame is a Grade II listed structure currently stands to the south of the Regent’s Canal. Disused since 2001, Gasholder No. 8 will be dismantled from its present location, refurbished and re-erected to the north of the canal and will eventually sit next to the three other gasholders – the Triplet - which will house apartments, a possible top floor restaurant and ground floor retail.  This group of gasholders, situated next to the canal, will echo the original collection of gasholders that made up the Imperial Gas Works located at King’s Cross. Removal, refurbishment and re-erection of the gasholder is to be funded separately. 

The culmination of the competition brings the first stage of this design project to a close. It is likely that full concept design work with the winning team will commence in 2011. Listed Building Consent and detailed planning consent will be required for the Gasholder No. 8 scheme.

By day, the large shallow pool will be a play space for children, and by night, a more tranquil public space. Beneath the ‘roof-top’ pools is an internal events space with a series of glass lenses in the ceiling lighting the space below and offering dramatic views of the gasholder structure above.

The panel were particularly impressed with how Bell Phillips + Kimble’s design, with changing water levels as a result of the different uses, echoes the rise and fall of the gasholder when it was still in use.  They also felt that leaving the gasholder structure open was a good design decision – with the design celebrating the structure itself and taking account of surrounding uses.


Readers' comments (1)

  • The Kings Cross Gasholders.
    I am a member and Trustee of the St Pancras Cruising Club, a boating organisation that has existed at the Yacht Basin for over 51 years. It is opposite the site where it is proposed to re-erect the four historic gas-holders on the Regent’s Canal. We are naturally interested in the outcome of this project and concerned that it may not take full advantage of the opportunity, or indeed the opinions of local people such as ourselves. We would like to be convinced that the project would fit in with the canal environment and our activities. As well as member’s narrow boats, we have on site a high quality working dry dock, which we built with our own efforts and which was a much-needed facility in the area. It must continue!
    We wish to see a good outcome for all, but fear that the original consultation meeting attended by members of Argent St George (as it was then) was too long ago to have had any influence. I recall that the suggestions made by me and the others were treated with coolness!
    Hence, I would like to issue a challenge to Bell Phillips + Kimble (and Argent) to come back to St Pancras, to tell us in detail what they have in mind and to listen to our ideas. We would meet in the historic railway water tower, which was moved to our site about 5 years ago and which we now occupy and manage for the mutual benefit of the club and the public.
    You may care to note that I am a Chartered Engineer, now retired, but still very active in public life. I chair the Association of Waterways Cruising Clubs, the national body that represents about 20,000 clubs boaters and inland waterways enthusiasts.
    I should add that British Waterways would need to be formally consulted on the detailed plans, once produced.
    David Pearce

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