Shopping Centers Today

NOV 2018

Shopping Centers Today is the news magazine of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)

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N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 8 / S C T 31 structure than a typical building, thus cutting down on the available interior space. To make the site at all commer- cially viable, Argent needed to nd more room. en, too, the space between the buildings had to be reconceived for presenting a more inviting feel, says Tamsin Green, project leader at Heath- erwick Studio, the redevelopment's architect rm. "We knew that in order to create a successful space, we needed to create some kind of focus between those buildings," Green said. Heather- wick's solution to both problems was to build a new, glass-and-steel story atop the old structures, capped o- with two slate roofs nearly touching at the center. "Both the buildings still retain their original identity β€” you [can] denitely read that they're two separate buildings β€” but you bring them together for this very special moment, which creates this amazing, almost cathedral-like space at the upper level, but [which] also gives us many other benets in terms of weather-covering and a sort of amphitheater experience below," said Hall. e result is multiple levels of shopping, including a street for kiosk units and pop-up spaces. e glass-and-steel structure could not be built to rest on the 170-year- old Victorian building itself, so 52 steel columns had to be introduced. Moreover, the original walls that this new story was going to have to match tended to be less than straight. In fact, Argent had to do extra due diligence to make sure the project could be done at all. "To give ourselves the con- dence that we could build it, we had to engage with our contractor earlier than we would do on a normal o'ce or residential building," said Hall. e slating, too, was far from rou- tine: e roof 's swooping design meant that the slates had to be made to follow a curve, says Green. "It wasn't some- thing anybody had done before," she said. Further complicating things, slat- ers work in either one direction or the other; consequently, Argent was forced to hire two teams of slaters, because one roof could be slated only by a team of right-handed slaters, and the other only by a leβ€”-handed team. "e philosophy we've tried to take with Coal Drops is that every part of its history is important," said Hall. "We haven't tried to take the building back to what it was like when it was rst built. What we're trying to do is make sure that people can see how it's changed across its life." us, it is not merely the Victorian structure that has been preserved, but also the signage and the other elements of the site's warehouse and dance club incarnations. "We've done a whole lot of work now, but this is just another chapter," said Hall. "May- be in 50 [or] 100 years, something else might happen." Q TIMELINE 1850s Coal Drops Yard opens to store the 8 million tons of coal brought into London each year to heat furnaces and replaces 1852 King's Cross railway station opens 1956 To combat the famous London smog, city introduces the rst smokeless zones banning the combustion of coal 1990s Vacant Coal Drops Yard buildings become popular venue for nightclubs July 2007 Argent takes possession of vacant Coal Drops Yard buildings October 2018 Redeveloped Coal Drops Yard opens to the public The project is a blending of the old and the new, with railway arches betraying the site's Victorian-era roots

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