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Camden New Journal - LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Published: 17 September 2009
Designs on new-look gas holders ?

CONCERNING the gas holder designs, I read the article (Helter skelter vision for King’s Cross gas holder is unveiled, September 10) with interest.
I couldn’t disagree with Councillor Jonathan Simpson more when he suggests that perhaps “none of these designs acknowledge the area’s history”; surely if that were considered every time a new building was to designed then we wouldn’t have St Pancras or King’s Cross stations (and there are very few examples of ideas submitted through public consultation that can stand the test of time).
If Gustafson Porter were responsible for building the Diana Memorial in Hyde Park then one only hopes that they learned a lot on that job – though the bonus of any moving (interactive?) water would surely be a welcome addition to the site).
Julian Hakes’s design looks very impressive but in practice anything that has a shiny surface can look really grubby when it’s “grimed” upon (rain, air pollution etc) and I’m sure that regular cleaning bills are not included in their proposal.
Feix and Merlin’s design looks impressive, though personally I’d prefer it to be a little more organic or sinewy; snaking out, in and around the steel columns rather than “pub” and “bar” looking like they’ve been stuck on).
If anyone can do this all for £2.5million great luck to them!
Bob Bailey
via email


AS a longstanding member of King’s Cross Conservation Area Advisory Committee I have personally been impressed by the model used in the Alliance Gasholder conversion in Dublin on the Grand Canal.
A simple cylindrical apartment building has been placed inside the frame and fills it in exactly the same way as if it had been a full “bell”’ of gas.
Early English Heritage discussions favoured a more architectural solution; what we have here is a demented theme park ride or a giant advertising slogan for a ball-bearing factory.
It need not just be an apartment building. A decent circular winter garden, possibly with palm court orchestra would provide an attraction for the waiting thousands in the “Eurostation” to come north, see a bit of industrial history and have a cuppa while they wait!
Charles Norrie


I AM disappointed that the proposed designs for the future use of the historic gas holders at King’s Cross have little to do with the history of the area and look more like something from 2001 A Space Odyssey! 
Gas Holder Number 8 is a Grade II listed structure and Argent have an excellent opportunity of making this into something than acknowledges the history of King’s Cross.
I strongly hope that Argent sits down with the local community and thinks of some alternative plans as soon as possible.
As things stand I fear that this will be a missed opportunity to develop a use which respects the unique nature of King’s Cross for future generations.
Cllr Jonathan Simpson
Labour, King’s Cross ward

Send your letters to: The Letters Editor, Camden New Journal, 40 Camden Road, London, NW1 9DR or email to The deadline for letters is midday Tuesday. The editor regrets that anonymous letters cannot be published, although names and addresses can be withheld. Please include a full name, postal address and telephone number. Letters may be edited for reasons of space.

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