New outdoor space created within listed cast-iron landmark
One of the landmarks of London's King's Cross redevelopment – a new public park created inside the frame of a listed 19th century gasholder – has opened to the public.
The circular park is designed by Bell Phillips Architects with garden designer Dan Pearson. Inside the main frame, Bell Phillips has added a colonnaded polished-steel canopy, providing a sheltered place to walk or sit and reminiscent of the gas tank that used to rise and fall in its place.
Planting around the frame brings 'colour, texture, sensory stimulation and seasonal variation' that ties in with planting around the wider King's Cross site, much of which has also been planted by Dan Pearson Studio, while the central grassy area provides a flexible community space for play and events.
Hari Phillips, partner at Bell Phillips Architects, said: 'Gasholder Park is a fantastic project which combines the industrial heritage of King’s Cross with contemporary architecture to create a unique place. To design a new use for such a well-known London landmark was both a daunting responsibility and an unmissable opportunity. We have hugely enjoyed watching Gasholder Park take shape, and we hope that it will become a much-loved public space as King’s Cross continues to emerge as one of London’s most interesting new quarters.'
The site, part of the ongoing regeneration of 67acres of land behind King's Cross Station, was once London's largest gasworks until it was decommissioned in 2000. The Grade II-listed cast-iron frame of 'Gasholder No. 8' – 25m high and 40m wide – was moved piece by piece in 2011 from a nearby site to its current canalside location. Three other frames have also joined it and will be filled with residential accommodation blocks.