The impact of Covid-19 on London life has only made us more sentimental about our city. There’s nowhere quite like it and nowhere that has it’s history so embedded into the infrastructure of our lifestyles. King’s Cross is an area that reflects the integrity of Old Victorian London whilst enhancing the vision of the redevelopers, Argent and Camden Council. Coal Drop’s Yard is an ambitious, controversial and visionary project that has completely invigorated the area of N1C. The area around Coal Drops Yard, King’s Cross and the arches in general has seen many forms. It was built in the Victorian era at the height of England’s reliance on coal for powering industry. The arches of Coal Drops Yard were built in the 1850s to store the coal that was transported down from Yorkshire before being moved across the city by horse drawn carriages or narrow boats on the Regents Canal. London’s newest shopping precinct, Coal Drops Yard definitely has the most interesting back story over its competitors!
After it was abandoned due to the increasing usage of electricity over coal, the arches fell into sad disrepair. You can imagine all sorts of interesting and shadowy shenanigans going on as the area was generally overlooked and left to its own ramshackle devices. Prostitution was rife, but artists were able to anex areas and squat there for years untroubled. The London rave scene flourished, starting with illegal parties in the disused warehouses in and around King’s Cross, which eventually turned into legal nightclubs such as Bagleys and the original Fabric. These died a death first time round due to the Criminal Justice and Public Order Acts implemented in the 90s (bore off boring!) and then due to the smoking ban and recession in the early 2000s, and Bagleys, renamed Canvas, eventually closed its doors for good in 2008. But the rave scene that prevailed in King’s Cross gave the area a notoriety that it can’t shake, and that is a fundamental part of its DNA.
Thomas Heatherwick studios were appointed to redevelop Coal Drops Yard in 2014 and incredibly the site was open for business in October 2018. The Beija London store on the Yard Level features the original Victorian cobblestones, and the iron plinths and columns that support the structure would have been leaned on by many a Victorian chimney sweep! This living history is a beautiful thing to be part of and the contrasting toughness of the architecture with the lightness and femininity of our product is an interesting dichotomy that we find really appealing.
For a real taste of historic London, and an experience of living and breathing history come down to Coal Drops Yard, King’s Cross. Just a short walk from Kings Cross train station, tube and Eurostar International this monument to all the good things London has to offer is waiting.