King’s Cross becomes a fashionable address

LONDON'S fashion forwards and aspiring artists will be moving into a multi-million pound base in King s Cross

Katie Davies

LONDON'S fashion forwards and aspiring artists will be moving into a multi-million pound base in King's Cross.

Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design has won approval for a £180million campus as part of the £2billion redevelopment of the King's Cross Railway Lands

The decision, made by Camden Council's planning chiefs, will see Victorian railway buildings converted to house the students from 2011.

Sir Michael Bichard, rector of the University of the Arts London, said: "The new refurbished Granary building will provide students and staff with a magnificent landmark building, purpose-designed facilities, and a location at the very heart of London's newest and best connected international creative quarter.

"The relocation of Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design to a new state-of-the-art home at King's Cross will help strengthen University of the Arts London's position as an international leader in art and design education."

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Work will start on the scheme from summer 2008 and will also include landscaping of a new area called Granary Square and two new buildings for university studios.

It is hoped the project will lead to a new generation of leading art-world figures such as Stella McCartney, John Galliano and Gilbert and George.

The development is the first major scheme approved on Argent's scheme to redevelop the railway lands. Robert Evans, Argent director, said: "Securing this consent is a major step for King's Cross.

"We said from the start this would be a genuine mixed community - not just offices and a few homes - and this decision reflects that. With the University right at the heart of the development we hope it will act as a catalyst for creative industries in the area and compliment some of the other occupiers that we are already in discussions with."

Any remaining land from the university complex will be dedicated to shopping, food and drink and offices.

The scheme is being designed by Stanton Williams Architects and will include rooftop gardens, a theatre and exhibition space.

Director of the firm Paul Williams said: "It has been a privilege to work on such an ambitious scheme that will bring life back to the Granary complex.

"It is a heroic industrial building with a raw beauty and character that London will be able to enjoy to the full. The thought of 5,000 energetic students inhabiting this once redundant and isolated building on a daily basis is breathtaking."