At the meeting on 26 November Robert Evans presented the developments expected by Argent over the next few years. 2015 and 2016 are likely to be the most intensive. The developments currently underway will be completed then. In particular, Cubitt Park and Square, two office blocks, the German Gymnasium, the Midland Goods Shed and the Plimsoll Building (Building P1) will be completed in 2015; while the Fish and Coal Buildings, a student housing block and the Tapestry Building (Building T1) will be completed in 2016. Work will begin on three further office blocks, two housing blocks and the Coal Drops in 2015. The presentation, available here, shows how these will gradually occupy the site.
After reviewing the work of the past year, the meeting elected new officers and members of the Steering Committee. In doing so the Forum moved towards becoming more representative of the occupants of King’s Cross Central and its immediate surroundings.
A full account of the meeting is in the minutes of the meeting. The meeting was also the annual review meeting; the annual review report is here.
At its next meeting, on 26 November, the Forum will have:
- An account by Robert Evans of the Argent development expectations for the coming years.
- A review of the past year (reported here).
- A discussion of the intentions for next year.
- The election of the officers for next year.
This will be the first annual review meeting under the revised terms of reference.
The meeting is from 6:30 to 8:30 on Wednesday 26 November in Committee Room 1 of Camden Town Hall. Please note the time, which is earlier than usual, to fit in the account of the development expectations.
At the meeting on 17 September Argent and the architects (Wilkinson Eyre) provided a presentation about the reuse of the Gasholder Triplets. The refurbished gasholder frames will surround apartment buildings that have surface colours and finishes intended to evoke gasholder bells.
The presentation, available here, includes several images of the gasholder frames (before and after refurbishment) and of the open spaces (both public and private) as well as of the surface colours and finishes.
Among the concerns raised by members of the Forum were:
- The provision for bicycles and electric cars (which comply with planning requirements now but which will become inadequate in some years).
- The need for interpretation boards to explain how the buildings related to the original gasholders.
Aideen Dunne, of Camden and Islington Public Health, described the report by her organisation on the options for primary care provision in the King’s Cross area. The NHS (not Camden and Islington Public Health) will decide between the options. Members of the Forum were very dissatisfied that the report appeared to ignore the distinctive characteristics of the area, such as the numbers of railway travellers and commuters (who can choose medical services in the area), and that little progress been made towards reaching an adequate decision.
Finally the head teacher and the nursery manager of the primary school spoke about the school principles and the teaching practicalities. The school will open in Building P1 for the 2015 intake.
The discussions on all these topics are outlined in the minutes of the meeting.
The next meeting, on Wednesday 26 November, will be the annual review meeting.
At its next meeting, on 17 September, the Forum will hear from Argent and the architects (Wilkinson Eyre) about the plans for the Gasholder Triplets. The frames of the Gasholder Triplets have three tiers of cast iron columns with capitals and three tiers of wrought iron riveted lattice girders. After restoration they will be re-erected around apartment buildings and enclose a private garden between those buildings.
After the discussion of the Gasholder Triplets, Camden and Islington Public Health will describe the outcomes of the health impact and needs assessment, which is being input to NHS.
Finally the head teacher will introduce the new primary school, to be opened in 2015. As described here, this will be housed in Building P1, along with the Frank Barnes School for Deaf Children.
The meeting is from 7:00 to 9:00 on Wednesday 17 September in Committee Room 1 of Camden Town Hall.
At the meeting on 16 April an architect in the Porphyrios Associates practice told the Forum about the detailed plans for Building B6. This will be one of the six large office blocks around Pancras Square. Only it and Building B5 are still being designed; the others, and the shared substructures, are well on the way to completion.
The earlier plans (for the building in the higher picture alongside) were given planning approval four years ago, but construction did not start. The revised plans (for the building in the lower picture alongside) are quite different. The earlier plans used stone finishes for the first two floors and brick finishes thereafter, with fairly small windows (except where they faced the Regent’s Canal). The revised plans use stone finishes throughout with rather larger windows, and create more vigorous elevations, especially with pavilions towards the Regent’s Canal.
The Forum welcomed the attempt to fit the context provided by the buildings already planned or constructed for Pancras Square, but several members were unenthusiastic about the plans. They thought that the elevations were suited more to an inter-war office block near the River Thames than to a foil for the nineteenth and twenty-first century buildings near the Regent’s Canal. The minutes of the meeting describe the plans and the reasons for the lack of enthusiasm. Of course the plans are not final; they might yet change again before the submission of the planning application.
There have been revisions to the plans for Cubitt Park and Cubitt Square, too. The minutes summarise the revisions to the plans, for which a planning application has now been submitted (2014/2366/P).
The meeting also discussed the current work on establishing the primary health care provision in the area. The discussion, outlined in the minutes, will probably be resumed at the next meeting of the Forum, which is from 7:00 to 9:00 on Wednesday 17 September in Committee Room 1 of Camden Town Hall.