UAL Central St Martins Campus, King’s Cross

A catalyst for regeneration

Long gone are the days when King’s Cross was only frequented by commuters and ravers. Today, the area has become a trendy hub of activity, in great part thanks to the new University of Arts London (UAL) campus, built by BAM, at the entrance of the 67 acre King’s Cross Central development.

Project details

  • Employer’s agent: Davis Langdon

  • Architects:

    • Stanton Williams (Concept Architect)
    • BAM Design (Detail Architect)
    • Weedon Partnership (Detail Architect)
    • Richard Griffiths (Heritage Architect)
  • Quantity Surveyor: Davis Langdon

  • Structural Engineer: BAM Design / AKS Ward

  • M&E Consultants: BAM Design

  • Value: £175m

  • Floor area (UAL): 40,000m2

  • Completion (UAL): April 2011

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A new lease of life for Victorian industrial architecture

In 2008, we started refurbishment and construction works of the Eastern Goods Yard. Built in 1852, the Goods Yard complex is comprised of the Granary Building, the Train Assembly Shed, and the Eastern and Western Transit Sheds (ETS, WTS). The buildings were used to transfer freight from or to the rail carts. The West Handyside Canopy was built in 1888 to provide shelter for off-loading goods.

The site’s rich industrial history was a challenge, requiring a close working relationship with local authorities, English Heritage and an on-site team of archaeologists. We restored and converted these Grade II listed Granary Building and ETS into the University of the Arts London (UAL) and the WTS became offices and mezzanine shops. We also restored the West Handyside Canopy.

A harmonious blend of old and new

We built a new campus building onto the back of the Grade II listed Granary building, including specialised design workshops, performance spaces and a cantilevered theatre. Extensive landscaping was carried out to create and link the new Granary Square (which is as big as Trafalgar Square and just as popular!) to the canal, rest of the development and King’s Cross mainline stations.

Sustainability and community engagement were at the heart of our approach to make sure we improved the existing buildings’ energy-efficiency and had a positive impact on the local community.

Our 'skip garden' and ‘hoop garden' were used regularly by local group Global Generation to teach young people about sustainability, and are still used today.