Made you look! It's Nice That takes over Coal Drops Yard with Double Take


23 September 2019
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3 minute read


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Coal Drops Yard is a shopping district in London’s King’s Cross. Originally established in 1850, the area reopened in October 2018, reinvented by the acclaimed Heatherwick Studio.

Wander around Coal Drops Yard, the new shopping and dining destination in London’s King’s Cross, this autumn and you might come across some curious and colourful characters hiding in plain sight amid the stunning architecture. For five weeks, It’s Nice That will be taking over the entire site with a series of playful sculptures, created together with spatial designers Isabel + Helen. These sculptures will interact with the contours of the buildings, designed by Heatherwick Studio, and inhabit the airy spaces between them.

Called Double Take, the installation invites new and returning visitors to Coal Drops Yard to look twice at the architecture and the way it has breathed new life into the historic site. The five giant sculptures we’ve created will conjure up optical illusions and are designed to appear (and disappear) before your eyes as you explore the space and dip in and out of the restaurants, bars and shops – including Cos, Cubitts, Paul Smith, Rains and Tom Dixon, to name just a few.

The colourful and playful pieces will hopefully make you stop in your tracks and take another look. They might even give you the feeling that you’re not the only one having a look around (don’t worry, though – these newcomers are nice and friendly). But what they will definitely do is make you see the Coal Drops Yard architecture with a fresh perspective.

Double Take will not simply live in the nooks and crannies of Coal Drops Yard. It will also be popping up on Instagram, as It’s Nice That takes over the @coaldropsyard account with the help of animators Arina Shabanova, Eva Cremers, Jaedoo Lee, Wang & Soderstrom, Raman Djafari and Milo Targett.

These creatives, hailing from all over the world, will bring their own unique tastes and twists to the architectural forms and shapes of the celebrated Coal Drops Yard identity, created by Droga5. Working with us at It’s Nice That, the selected animators have been tasked with bringing the identity to life in digital form, much as the sculptures are set to animate the bricks and mortar of the architecture in real life.

The installation launches at Coal Drops Yard on 3 October and will run until 6 November 2019. The Instagram takeover runs for the same period, beginning with Milo Targett’s witty interpretation of the destination’s identity.

So, if you’re in London this autumn, head down to Coal Drops Yard in King’s Cross and keep your eyes peeled for our colourful cast of characters. If you’re based elsewhere, fear not – you can check out the @coaldropsyard Instagram account to see our animated takeover take off. Whichever way you experience it, though, we encourage you to Double Take.

Coal Drops Yard is a new shopping and restaurant district in London’s King’s Cross. Coal Drops Yard was originally established in 1850 to handle the eight million tonnes of coal delivered to the capital each year, and was latterly the location of nightclubs Bagley’s and The Cross. The area reopened in October 2018, reinvented by the acclaimed Heatherwick Studio, which has interwoven a contemporary design with the surviving structures and rich ironwork of the original Victorian coal drops.

Located within a reimagined set of historic buildings and arches directly adjacent to Granary Square and Regent’s Canal, Coal Drops Yard houses over fifty stores from a unique mix of established and emerging brands, along with cafes, bars, top independent restaurants and new public spaces.

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