The firm of Thomas Heatherwick, known for the artistic stamp he is so good at giving his buildings and installations, has in London’s King’s Cross neighborhood just completed the Coal Drops Yard shopping center. This place was a complex of 19th-century coal warehouses that were definitvely abandoned in 1990, but the heritage has been preserved and now refurbished to give it profitable use. So it is that a facility connected to the Industrial Revolution will serve the world of contemporary consumerism.
Containing slighly over 9,000 square meters, the building is formed by low long pavilions that at street level present powerful walls of brick adorned with continuous rows of balusters of cast iron, very characteristic of 19th-century industrial architecture.
Rising from the two main constructions, recalling the hump of the boa constrictor in The Little Prince, are bulbous but elegant slate-clad shapes that grow upward toward each other until they meet at the center of the complex, forming a civic canopy over the main plaza.