King’s Cross granary complex

Kings Cross, London, UK, United Kingdom

Former Use: Granary
New Use: Mixed Use (University, offices, shops, restaurants)
Category: Commerce/retail, Education, HoReCa, Office
Original Architect: Lewis Cubitt
Reuse Architect: Stanton Williams
Construction year(s): 1852 -
Reuse year(s): 2014 -


The Goods Yard complex, designed by Lewis Cubitt, was completed in 1852. The complex comprised the Granary Building, the Train Assembly Shed, and the Eastern and Western Transit Sheds. The buildings were aligned to the axis of the Copenhagen tunnel through which the trains arrived from the north.The Granary building was mainly used to store Lincolnshire wheat for London’s bakers, while the sheds were used to transfer freight from or to the rail carts. Off-loading from the rail carriages was made easier by cranes and turntables powered by horse and, from the 1840s, hydraulic power.Loaded and unloaded carts were moved in to the Train Assembly Shed and formed into trains for departure northwards. Stables were located under the loading platforms – some of these remain in the Western Transit Shed.In the 1860s, offices were added on either side of the Granary to provide more clerical workspace.Dumb waiters were used to transport papers up and down and windows between the offices and sheds allowed traffic to be monitored.
Since 2014, the Granary Building is houses the arts college – Central Saint Martins, part of the University of the Arts London. The building has been transformed by architects Stanton Williams. The Western Transit Shed has been converted into office space with shops and restaurants at street level. (1)

Relevant Literature:

  2. Chatzi Rodopoulou, T., 2016. “Heritage-led regeneration in the UK — Preserving historic values or
    masking commodification? A reflection on the case of King’s Cross, London”. in Carola Hein (ed.)
    International Planning History Society Proceedings, 17th IPHS Conference, History-Urbanism-
    Resilience, TU Delft 17-21 July 2016, V.04 pp. 75-87, TU Delft Open.

Added on 2018-08-04 by editor Dora Chatzi Rodopoulou