The King’s Cross Partnership and Paul Smith have confirmed that the British designer will open at Coal Drops Yard, the Heatherwick Studio-designed shopping quarter in London’s King’s Cross, in October 2018, as part of the brand’s global expansion plans.
Paul Smith has a diverse shop portfolio borne out of Paul’s own belief that every shop should be different. Each store is designed by the in-house team of architects to reflect and react to its surroundings. The shop at Coal Drops Yard will be no different, with a series of exciting spaces that respect and contrast with Coal Drops Yard’s listed architecture and include elements that engage with its context as a central point within the King’s Cross estate.
Central to the shop’s design will be a juxtaposition of modern features with the listed architecture where the vaulted brick ceiling and walls will be retained.
The Paul Smith twist is added through surreal spaces built like capsules contrasting with the traditional brick space; a room for Men’s suiting will be covered in thousands of Japanese 1 Yen coins, a nod to Paul’s long-standing relationship with Japan. Linking the rear room to the Women’s room will be a striking blue tunnel with a rubberised playground floor. The rear room will reflect Paul’s history as a shopkeeper in Nottingham when he would change his shop stock regularly, bringing back unusual objects such as toys from his travels around the world to present something new and interesting to the local customers. This space will feature a rotation of store concepts, from the coveted and exclusive Japanese Red Ear collection, to product launches linked with events in the city such as Design Week and Frieze, creating a contemporary version of a local shop.
Paul Smith adds: “As a man who’s travelled in and out of King’s Cross and St Pancras for many years and seen it change from a very run-down and sad area to become a vibrant and beautifully restored part of the city, it’s with great excitement that I’m opening a new shop there later in the year.”
Craig White, project director at Argent, said: “When we began the Coal Drops Yard project, Paul Smith was one of our muses – his classic style with a twist has informed our approach to identifying our ideal partners, and is indeed mirrored in Heatherwick Studio’s reimagining of the Victorian coal drops themselves. His signing is a magnificent addition to the scheme, and we look forward to welcoming shoppers to the store when it opens later this year.”
Coal Drops Yard has been reinvented by the acclaimed Heatherwick Studio, which has intertwined a striking contemporary design with the surviving grand brick viaducts, cobbled streets and rich ironwork of the Victorian Coal Drops that were situated on the site, dating back to 1851. The renovated quarter is a new shopping area set to open in King’s Cross in autumn 2018. With a focus on fashion, craft and culture, Coal Drops Yard will fuse the traditional with the contemporary, housing a unique mix of established and emerging retailers and will see individual, independent shops, signature retail brands and new concepts from home and abroad come together with cafés, bars, restaurants and public spaces to create a new shopping destination for London.
With its innovative shopping and dining experiences, canal-side location in the heart of King’s Cross and uplifting architecture, Coal Drops Yard is set to become a magnet for visitors from across London, the UK and further afield.
Coal Drops Yard is located adjacent to Granary Square, near King’s Cross and St Pancras International stations, and forms a key part of the wider regeneration of King’s Cross, confirming the area as an epicentre for fashion, design and the arts.