Will the Coal Drops provide “an experience unlike any other in London”?

agar town coal depotAt the meeting on 8 July Heatherwick Studio outlined the aim for the Coal Drops, which formerly served for shifting coal from trains to carts (as illustrated in the two sections alongside). The hope is to transform the site into a shopping centre unlike any other in London, with varied shops, while preserving some of the industrial feel of the original buildings and the corresponding viaducts.

However, the site might become might be too expensive for small craft and design workshops, and the accommodation would be enlarged to incorporate a large single floor store. This large single floor would cover an area between the two buildings, rising up from those buildings in a curved form foreign to functional industrial design. You can read some of the comments about it in the minutes of the meeting.

The next meeting is at 7:00 on Wednesday 30 September in Committee Room 1 of Camden Town Hall. All are welcome to that (and every other) meeting of the Forum.

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Designs for the Coal Drops

rolling bridgeAt its next meeting, on 8 July, the Forum will hear from Heatherwick Studio and Argent about the intentions for the Coal Drops. Heatherwick Studio is also designing the Google headquarters in Mountain View (which is extraordinary in a much larger space than Paddington Basin, shown alongside) and, of course, the Garden Bridge.

The meeting is at 7:00 on Wednesday 8 July in Committee Room 1 of Camden Town Hall. All are welcome to this (and every other) meeting of the Forum.

Posted in Central developments, Coal Drops Yard | 1 Comment

What has happened about the promised social housing?

culross building during demolitionAt the meeting on 10 June Councillor Siân Berry provided a perspective on the changed intentions for social and affordable housing in King’s Cross Central, as apparently agreed behind closed doors between Camden Council (both members and officers) and Argent. Councillor Phil Jones, who is responsible for housing within Camden Council, had been invited to the meeting but was ultimately unable to come.

Some weeks ago Michael Edwards wrote a full account of the matter, including how it is seen by Phil Jones. The outline by Siân Berry, summarised in the minutes of the meeting, brought the Forum up to date. There is now also a further but briefer analysis that members of the Forum are urged to read.

The next meeting, on Wednesday 8 July, will hear about the plans by Heatherwick Studio for the Coal Drops Yard.

Posted in Camden frameworks, Central developments | 1 Comment

How much affordable housing will there be in King’s Cross Central?

section106 obligationsAt its next meeting, on 10 June, the Forum will discuss the cuts in the obligations on Argent to provide affordable social housing. The discussion will be started by Councillor Siân Berry, who is challenging the outcome of the negotiations with Camden Council. Some obligations in the Section 106 Agreement are summarised alongside.

The meeting is from 7:00 to 9:00 on Wednesday 10 June in Committee Room 1 of Camden Town Hall.

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Expectations of the Aga Khan University and for greener travel

r1 from cubitt squareAt the meeting on 25 March the Aga Khan Development Network spoke about Building R1, to be built on the edge of Cubitt Park. This is to accommodate three institutes of the Aga Khan University currently elsewhere in London. Its architect, Maki Associates, has designed buildings for the Aga Khan Development Network in Ottawa and Toronto. The penthouse on the top of the proposed building has been likened (by the architect, but not by members of the Forum) to the dome of Saint Paul’s Cathedral. Perhaps more appealing are the gardens, which (along with the gardens of other nearby buildings of the Aga Khan Development Network) will be open for public tours. The restaurant, too, will be publicly accessible.

Next Charlotte May, the new transport planning co-ordinator for King’s Cross Central, introduced herself. She described her intentions of working with other organisations on activities to promote environmentally appropriate travel on foot or by bicycle. Her presentation illustrates some of these activities.

This led into a discussion on local transport needs, concentrating on busses and cycles, with comments by Rob Willis, the Camden planning officer who is working with TfL to put forward adaptations to the bus routes and schedules. After the meeting Andrew Bosi developed a note on busses and trains to update the earlier transport strategy of the Forum; it is available here.

The discussions are summarised in the minutes of the meeting.

The next meeting, on Wednesday 10 June, will look at the changed intentions for affordable housing in King’s Cross Central. Councillor Siân Berry will provide a perspective.

Posted in Camden frameworks, R1 | 1 Comment