10 Years Of King's Cross In Photos

Will Noble
By Will Noble Last edited 16 months ago
10 Years Of King's Cross In Photos

King's Cross has undergone one hell of a makeover over the past 10 years, the long-abandoned warehouses and brownfield thrumming back into life with restaurants and bars, galleries, art pop ups, and various watery delights.  

King's Cross in 2008

The monumental undertaking that is transforming 67 acres of industrial hinterland has a way to go before completion (when is anywhere in London ever complete anyway?). But a decade on from when the first construction workers moved in feels like a good time to cast our eyes back and see what's changed.

King's Cross in 2012
Granary Square in 2008

At the heart of the project is Granary Square. Disused for years, these fine old buildings were where canal barges once unloaded their wares. Once more they're crammed with goods — this time, grain takes the form of Dishoom's bacon naans and Caravan's jalapeño corn bread.

The square's fountains (there are over 1,000 individual jets), form a centrepiece which you're welcome to frolic in.

Granary Square has become a new centre for the arts too — it's now home to Central Saint Martins (currently the landing pad for the space age Futuro House) and the House of Illustration.

Quentin Blake is one of the artists who have been the subject of a House of Illustration show. © Quentin Blake
Futuro House, currently to be found at King's Cross

The courtyard has played host to sundry events, from Michael Jackson-inspired wig-outs, to street food festivals.

A zombie flash mob appears at Granary Square, Halloween 2016.

Perhaps Granary Square's most radiant success to date has been light festival, Lumiere, which wowed the winter crowds of 2016 with its oversized neons, and projections onto the warehouse brickwork. All very atmospheric (and crowded, as we remember).

King's Cross Pond Club was one of the site's biggest media draws when it opened in May 2015. To swim in the midst of a construction site, with Eurostars rattling past is everyone's dream (well, it was ours anyway). We blame frigid weather (and equally frigid Londoners) for the fact that it closed down in the winter of 2016. Altogether, we spent about three minutes in the chilly water — but what a three minutes it was.

We're happy that the developers share our enthusiasm for Victorian gasholders, and have preserved them, notably in Gasholder Park.

Perhaps a less sensitive reworking of these iron skeleton are these luxury flats, but then everything needs a USP these days, doesn't it?

New bars and restaurants have taken up residence in the disused buildings around King's Cross — such as the upside down Ark that is German Gymnasium (and yes, it really was originally a German gymnasium).

Another area that's seen some much-needed attention is Coal Drops Yard. This is where coal arriving from the north of England was sorted.

Although it seems anything might happen here these days.

With the help of Heatherwick Studio, it's set to become a shopping centre — and we can't help but let out a little sigh at that — but surely that's better than letting the place rot? Anyway, that's one of many changes still on the docket.

What do you think of the changes at King's Cross over the past decade? Good? Bad? Mixed? Tell us in the comments.

Last Updated 10 July 2017