Brian O'Reilly Architects logo

Gasholder No.8 Kings Cross

Location: Kings Cross
Client: Private
Status: Competition

Influenced by regular visits to the nearby Camley Street Nature Park and a study of the pond life; particularly the pond skater, our proposal is for a playful, delightful and iconic intervention on the site.

The idea is inspired by Victorian engineers and inventors and their love of mechanical structures together with a peculiar fascination with the natural world. The collection of insect specimens was a popular Victorian hobby.

Our proposal is to place a colossal pond skater within the gas holder, caught within the structure as though it were some great Victorian curio. Its legs straddle a profiled landscape incorporating an adventure park, an amphitheatre/cinema, a café, plus other rentable spaces within its folds.

The skater itself contains a cafe and viewing platform, as well as a launch pad for a tethered hot air balloon which will provide views across London. The balloon will act as a recognisable landmark and an attraction in its own right.

This playful and memorable development will provide a focal point for leisure and entertainment in the area and a visual icon seen from the Eurostar for travellers coming into London.