A New Destination Drops in to London

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Probably the most remarkable shopping structure of 2018 welcomed its first shoppers on Friday. Coal Drops Yard is a brick-built Victorian depot where coal from the north of England arrived at London’s Kings Cross prior to being distributed across the capital.

As such, it is a piece of industrial heritage, but after a long period of neglect, any sense of getting your hands dirty has been banished, courtesy of design and architectural practice Heatherwick Studio. Now the two buildings that comprised the complex have been joined by a sweeping, curved roof that forms a hypermodern connection bringing the whole thing together.

And into this almost stageset-like scene have come the retailers. These are, for the most part, very upscale (although both COS and Samsung are opening flagships in Coal Drops) and when coupled with a Tom Dixon shop and a Moroccan and Middle-Eastern-influenced restaurant dubbed The Coal Office, as well as a raft of bars and coffee shops, this is about leisure as much as retail.

More to the point, just when it seemed that London had almost everything that could be imagined in the way of shopping, something new appears. If you’re anywhere near central London, this one should be on the list.