After visiting the Broadgate Estate in the City (see my previous post), I was delighted to see that the developers at Kings Cross decided to propose a truly mixed use development, and also to keep and reuse the remaining railway buildings and structures. Although most of the project is still under construction, I was able to get a grasp of it as I was walking through the site.
As you arrive from St. Pancras you can already see the quality of the materials, that provides unity throughout the project; mainly brick, stone and gravel, all in harmony with the old, brick buildings of the site. Also we can find the same metal chairs and tables (in yellow and dark grey) at different parts of the development, which is a nice touch.
After crossing the Regent’s Canal, we arrive to the main public square, at the entrance of the new building of Central St. Martins, University of the Arts. I think the whole space and the canal side is very well thought out and executed. I loved the huge, green sitting steps on the canal side. Maybe the water feature is a bit too much, but the whole square has a really friendly, piazza-like atmosphere. The interior of the collage is really impressive and high quality. In the main hall, where the students were playing table tennis, the whole 5-storey facade of the old station building is revealed. The whole space is truly breathtaking.
As we walk up a bit we arrive to the residential parts of the development. I think here the quality of the project decreases. At the moment there are not enough green spaces for the amount of residential units, and they are really small comparing to the size of the buildings (there are 20-storey residential tower blocks with a tiny courtyard in the middle). Unfortunately these buildings (except maybe for the so called Arthouses) are representing a quite dull kind of architecture to me. Some of them reminds me of council flats actually. I hope as the development reaches its completion, at least the green space situation will change, as the project’s biggest public park is still under construction (completion in 2015).