Argent KCCLP | Kings Cross, London 2019 - ongoing
Winner Civic Trust Award 2022
Following the restoration and reopening of Coal Drops Yard in 2018, this bridge represents the final step of reinstating the heritage of this part of King's Cross. It replaces a bridge constructed circa 1821 in the same position on the Regents Canal and which was used to transport coal to the Goods Yard. The original bridge was taken down in the 1920s, when rail freight went into decline and it was no longer needed for transportation purposes.
The new bridge takes inspiration from lost railway bridges across the canal including its predecessor. Often chosen for its efficiency, the truss form in this case has been developed and finessed beyond the typical detailing expectations for this type of structure. Components have been optimised to express their alternately compressive and tensile load requirements. Nodal connections have been carefully considered, creating smoothly sculpted transitions between elements. The repetitive modular form creates a seemingly complex assembly out of a series of simple cells.
Named by the Children of the King's Cross Academy and inspired by the Espérance Club (1895-1914), a pioneering social project for local sewing girls created by two radical suffragettes, Mary Neal and Emmeline Pethick Lawrence.
“This is a special moment for King’s Cross. (This bridge) represents one of the final pieces of the public realm jigsaw, drawing upon the area’s unique industrial heritage. This will provide residents, workers, students, and visitors with direct access from Pancras Square and the stations into Granary Square and Coal Drops Yard at the heart of King’s Cross. We are delighted with the name chosen by the King’s Cross Academy, a bit of hope for us all after a challenging year is what we need.” Robert Evans, CEO of King's Cross