The Fish and Coal Offices
The Fish and Coal offices hold a prominent location in the heritage heart of King’s Cross, following the sweep of Regent’s Canal at the south west corner of Granary Square. Built between 1851 and the 1869s, and derelict since a fire in the 1980’s, the buildings form an intriguing example of robust, Victorian industrial architecture.
Inherently sustainable, the design concept for the refurbishment project has been to retain the buildings’ strong historical character by applying a light touch to the majority of the existing fabric, whilst greatly transforming the way the buildings can be re-used.The previously dark interior is now flooded with daylight by opening up and extending previously blocked in windows, installing new shop front glazing and inserting a new roof-light and light well in the office space.
The Fish and Coal Buildings and Wharf Road Arches were built in 1851 and provided offices for the coal trades’ clerical workers. The buildings, which follow the curve of the Regent’s Canal, were later used by staff administering the onward distribution of fish, brought into London through King’s Cross. The buildings were gutted by fire in 1983, and have remained empty ever since.The Wharf Road Arches originally provided stables for horses which carried goods after they were unloaded at the train station. In the nineties they were converted into a nightclub but have remained empty since it closed in 2007.
David Morley Architects’ have lovingly restored, enhanced and retained the building’s strong historical character; an intriguing example of robust, Victorian industrial architecture. The design approach was to combine a light touch to the majority of the existing fabric, with some carefully focussed interventions which have greatly transformed the way the buildings can be re-used to provide office space, retail units and a restaurant which all serve as a new gateway to an elevated walkway leading to the retail emporium of Coal Drops Yard, the Gasholders and The Plimsoll Building, creating a sense of enclosure and a ‘creative centre’ for Tom Dixon at Granary Square.