diamond geezer

 Saturday, October 27, 2018

If you used to go clubbing at Bagley's, in the derelict wastelands north of King's Cross, you'll be amazed at its transformation. A pair of 19th century fuel sheds have been reborn as Coal Drops Yard, a premium retail experience designed by Heatherwick Studios, who've basically taken credit for dropping a glass swoosh on top of two brick warehouses. It opened yesterday at noon, and I visited during the first hour to see what it was like.

Fundamentally it's a shopping mall, albeit a particularly smart one, in two halves with a canyoned piazza inbetween. Visitors swirl in from Granary Square, or descend the steps from the unfinished corner by the gasholders, or walk through an arch direct from the Regent's Canal towpath. Security guards linger here and there to make sure nobody does anything too unruly. Hoardings declare CDY's purpose as STORES DINING CULTURE, but the website prefers to go with SHOP EAT DRINK, which is more to the point.

The uppermost pointy level will be occupied by Samsung, whose brand showcase promises to "bring the latest technologies to life with curated experiences". It opens next year. Lower units are already filled with boutiques, botanicals and eateries - no big chains - with names like Morty & Bobs, Emin & Paul and Form & Thread. The ultimate double act is Wolf & Badger, whose three-storey repository is a painfully modern kind of department store, little more than a sparse scattering of independent brands for the smart set to pick over. Above the wellness cooler and the metalwork corner I followed a corridor of crafted cushions to a barely-stocked bookshop, and marvelled at the carefully-considered irrelevance of it all.

The first visitors were already perched on barstools downing bespoke caffeine, or nosing through doorways to check out a handful of handbags, or eyeing up collections of high-end trainers, or perusing a limited range of quilted gilets, or mulling over the viability of having heritage corn tortillas for lunch, or fully occupied lining up inaugural photographs, or peering through the glass of one of the many units which aren't yet open. I never stumbled upon the Visitor Centre, but eventually found my way to the toilets, which was more like slipping into the gents at a voguish restaurant.

One brightly-lit retail unit appeared to contain nothing more than two racks of jackets, eight pairs of socks and some cacti, these advertised in the window as "excellent essentials, mindfully sourced". But nothing about Coal Drops Yard is essential, it's more a magnet for the over-moneyed to enjoy consuming the unnecessary.

Coal Drops Yard looks fabulous, and I can imagine Time Out getting quite masturbatory about the place, for it ticks many boxes. I am not target audience, so don't envisage spending pounds here, but am delighted to have discovered a new location where I can spend a penny.

<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>

click to return to the main page

...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan19  Feb19  Mar19  Apr19  May19  Jun19  Jul19  Aug19
Jan18  Feb18  Mar18  Apr18  May18  Jun18  Jul18  Aug18  Sep18  Oct18  Nov18  Dec18
Jan17  Feb17  Mar17  Apr17  May17  Jun17  Jul17  Aug17  Sep17  Oct17  Nov17  Dec17
Jan16  Feb16  Mar16  Apr16  May16  Jun16  Jul16  Aug16  Sep16  Oct16  Nov16  Dec16
Jan15  Feb15  Mar15  Apr15  May15  Jun15  Jul15  Aug15  Sep15  Oct15  Nov15  Dec15
Jan14  Feb14  Mar14  Apr14  May14  Jun14  Jul14  Aug14  Sep14  Oct14  Nov14  Dec14
Jan13  Feb13  Mar13  Apr13  May13  Jun13  Jul13  Aug13  Sep13  Oct13  Nov13  Dec13
Jan12  Feb12  Mar12  Apr12  May12  Jun12  Jul12  Aug12  Sep12  Oct12  Nov12  Dec12
Jan11  Feb11  Mar11  Apr11  May11  Jun11  Jul11  Aug11  Sep11  Oct11  Nov11  Dec11
Jan10  Feb10  Mar10  Apr10  May10  Jun10  Jul10  Aug10  Sep10  Oct10  Nov10  Dec10 
Jan09  Feb09  Mar09  Apr09  May09  Jun09  Jul09  Aug09  Sep09  Oct09  Nov09  Dec09
Jan08  Feb08  Mar08  Apr08  May08  Jun08  Jul08  Aug08  Sep08  Oct08  Nov08  Dec08
Jan07  Feb07  Mar07  Apr07  May07  Jun07  Jul07  Aug07  Sep07  Oct07  Nov07  Dec07
Jan06  Feb06  Mar06  Apr06  May06  Jun06  Jul06  Aug06  Sep06  Oct06  Nov06  Dec06
Jan05  Feb05  Mar05  Apr05  May05  Jun05  Jul05  Aug05  Sep05  Oct05  Nov05  Dec05
Jan04  Feb04  Mar04  Apr04  May04  Jun04  Jul04  Aug04  Sep04  Oct04  Nov04  Dec04
Jan03  Feb03  Mar03  Apr03  May03  Jun03  Jul03  Aug03  Sep03  Oct03  Nov03  Dec03
 Jan02  Feb02  Mar02  Apr02  May02  Jun02  Jul02 Aug02  Sep02  Oct02  Nov02  Dec02 

eXTReMe Tracker
jack of diamonds
Life viewed from London E3

» email me
» follow me on twitter
» follow the blog on Twitter
» follow the blog on RSS

my flickr photostream