New life for former railway structures

Thursday 27 Feb 2014

Bennetts Associates to transform Midland Goods Shed into commercial and education complex at King's Cross in London

Designs have been released for a 62,000 sq ft scheme in London to transform one of the last heritage buildings at the King’s Cross site. Bennetts Associates has devised plans to redevelop the Midlands Goods Shed and the West and East Handyside Canopies into a 29,000 sq ft Waitrose supermarket, a 2,400 sq ft cookery school and a 30,000 sq ft events and educational venue.

The former railway structures are part of the Grade II listed Granary Complex within the Regent’s Canal Conservation Area, near to the University of Arts London. The King’s Cross development has been widely publicised and much of its architectural design - including John McAslan and Partners’ transformation of King’s Cross Station - highly praised.  

On the ground floor of the Midlands Goods Shed will be the public facilities of a new Waitrose store, with the potential for food festivals and covered markets in the West Handyside Canopy. The East Handyside Canopy will become a café space with external seating overlooking the nearby canal. Due to the close proximity of the store to existing public transport systems, there are no plans to include car parking facilities in the new development.

Also planned for the East Handyside Canopy and the first floor of the Midland Goods Shed is an events and cultural space. The south east corner of the Midland Goods Shed will be home to a cookery school in response to the area’s emerging reputation as a key food destination in the city.  

New insertions allow the disused buildings to be occupied and form a contemporary yet complimentary counterpart to the existing structure and rhythm. Key insertions include: enclosure of the East Handyside Canopy with a delicate glazed elevation that allows the historic structural features to remain visible from outside; the introduction of a mezzanine level to connect the two levels and spaces of the buildings and provide additional accommodation at the northern end; and the introduction of a new pitched roof at first floor with courtyard gardens inset to add light and amenity.

Update: This scheme was granted planning approval in May 2014.

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