ngs Cross Gasholder No.8

Gasholder No. 8 – Urban Canopy

Author: Tobias Klein and Dietmar Koering with Paul Giencke and Lucy Woods

with Eleanor Dodman and Graham K.Smith


Gasholder No. 8 is situated within one of the most significant regeneration projects in London, and thus, it presents a unique opportunity to reinvent the notion of public space. An augmented ground plane of hard landscaping creates a series of flexible spaces offering a variety of possible uses throughout the day: The Two Form Entry Primary School’s playground can extend into the gasholder space during the day, and at night the space can be commercially let as an exclusive venue. Profiled edges create seating, climbing walls and skate ramps. Water pools and planting subdivide the space allowing it to be used for various activities simultaneously. A second elevated landscape or ‘roofscape’ allows for year-round use of the external space, and creates internal space overlooking Regents Canal. The public space extends onto this ‘roofscape’. Conceived as an ever-changing idyll in a dense urban environment, hard landscaping is softened by native planting. Larger native trees puncture the surface from below, buffering noise from the nearby high speed railway. A canopy level walkway, wending its way through the trees re-frames the view across Regents Canal and the gasholder structure, and allows the visitors to interact with the usually unreachable canopy.

This canopy is a living, breathing, green skin with educational routes for children. It shows the changes of the seasons, regulates the temperature below and creates an interesting quality of light with its ever-changing vegetation. At night, the canopy will be transformed with the use of carefully positioned lighting (LEDs within the walkway, and uplighters on the ground) creating a sublime atmosphere- perfect for outdoor functions.
Neither imposing nor lacking in presence, this is a proposal highly in tune to its surroundings; it celebrates the heritage of the gasholder and its structure whilst creating a cohesive new open public space integrating leisure and nature within the city.