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22 CASE STUDY


The cast iron guide frames have defined the King’s Cross landscape for over a century


nearby site North of Regent’s Canal in 2013. The three frames of the Triplet were re-erected in the same configuration, and the fourth was turned into a public park, with a stainless steel pavilion plus a landscaped area.


“The ingenuity behind the construction


of the Triplet is testament to the energy and pride that drove the industry,” said Buck, “and the dominance of the guide frames on the local skylines has made them important features at King’s Cross.” He added: “The guide frames were thus retained as the heart of the development, and the residential blocks were inspired in part by the large cylindrical storage drums that once stood within the frames.” “The different heights of the three


blocks, and the offsets and discontinuities in the facade lines allude to the movement of the old drums, which rose and fell according to the volumes of gas stored inside them. Each frame was dismantled carefully,


refurbished and re-erected in order to remain a striking feature of the landscape. Buck concluded: “Here they will be enjoyed for years by local residents and visitors to this ever more popular London destination.”


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PLANNING


The regeneration of the former industrial sites north of King’s Cross and St. Pancras began in the early 2000s and has trans- formed what was a disused area. “It’s a complicated site,” said Buck, “with constraints from live rail assets, and a strong heritage and conservation aspect because of its industrial history.” He continued: “It is the celebration of this heritage, blended with contemporary architecture, that gives the regeneration its unique feel and attraction.” “The repurposing of the old Gasworks infrastructure is a thrilling starting point for much of the new public and private space.” “As with any development of this magni-


tude, especially those with such historical significance, the planning process can put up a host of barriers. In the case of Gasholders London however, “a clear and viable strategy for the refurbishment and re-use of the guide frames in the master- plan was key to success,” said Ed Shearer, structural engineer at Arup.


The frames were built before approaches to structural stability such as cross bracing were in common use. “There was no record of how they were designed, and it was not


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