Over the past decade, London's neighborhood King's Cross has seen significant developments as part of an ongoing attempt to revitalize the area. In 2011, Granary Square, a canal-side public plaza, opened to the public, quickly becoming a hit. Pancras Square marks the gateway to King's Cross, and features dining spots, office buildings, and public library. Now, London-based Bells Phillips Architects have put their own stamp on the development with their regeneration of a former gasholder.
Until 2000, gasholder No.8 was part of London's largest gas works. However, the structures were dismantled to make way for a new public square, and Bells Phillips began the process of restoring the gasholder's 82-foot-tall circular cast-iron frame. The massive frame was shipped to a specialist to be restored, then returned to King's Cross.
The refurbished frame now encloses a circular public park and events space by the canal. The architects constructed a canopy of polished stainless steel panels around the inner perimeter of the frame, with 150 mirrored fins suspended beneath. The perforated panels contrast to the industrial nature of the frame. Architect Hari Phillips says that mirror labyrinth sculptures created by Danish artist Jeppe Hein inspired the design of the park.
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