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Sneak peeks inside incoming King's Cross landmarks

Artists & AI envision what's on the way - and what might best be avoided

It was early last summer when the exciting news first landed: Hackney’s beloved Mare Street Market was establishing a second outpost in King’s Cross, taking over a huge site on the corner of Lewis Cubitt Square ‘in the the autumn.’

Then - of course - the usual fit-out gremlins got in the works, and we’ve been peering inside a rather bleak building site on every subsequent walk past.

In recent weeks things do finally look to be nearing completion, but until the grand opening date is announced, it’s been mostly computer-generated renders like the one above that hint at what the space will look like (with very occasional tantalising on-site shots including the installation of a sweeping blackened steel staircase the other day).

You can also see video of the new chandelier room that’s being worked on by vintage decor supremos Pure White Lines, which bodes well for the transformation of a rather clinical internal structure into one following in the bohemian footsteps of the London Fields original…

Talking of grand staircases and computer renders, planning was granted last week for a towering new research and laboratory facility to be built on the wastelands next to the defunct York Way tube station.

When finished, it should look something like this 👇

The project is the latest announcement in the local life science labs goldrush, a trend that has also seen land directly in front of King’s Cross station/Argyle Square flattened for the vaguely controversial Belmont House (there’s another render here if you want to peek a what that one will look like), plus the ongoing transformation of Regent’s Place (as we reported alongside news of the new Impact Hub community workspace opening earlier this month).

Whether it be the perma-rammed dining offerings, or the construction buzz in the growing Knowledge Quarter cluster, the transformation of King’s Cross continues unabated by little hiccups such as, er, a global pandemic and its long WFH hangover.

Even Google’s mega HQ is finally starting to look finished-ish…

Boss of that building’s KX-based design studio, Thomas Heatherwick, has been busy winding up plenty of people with his often provocative pronouncements (a whole book, no less: Humanise) on the topic of ridding the world from ‘boring buildings’.

He’s started a 10-year long campaign, including a call for us all to name and shame architecture we find too flat or plain, too straight or shiny, too anonymous or monotonous or just too damn serious.

To graphically depict the negative impact dull design can have on our mental wellbeing and quality of life, Heatherwick’s Humanise website has just published Unlandmarks, a series of AI generated images that strip beloved British buildings of their soul, such as this image 👇 morphing several strange and super-bland reinterpretations the Houses of Parliament.


🍻 Camden Town is getting a new pub, restaurant and rooftop terrace

The owners of some decent local pubs, including Primrose Hill’s Princess of Wales and the Clerkenwell & Social, are about to transform Jamestown Road’s former burger joint the Camden Diner into an ambitious new late night bar.

It will be known as Lock Inn Camden (geddit?), with a pubby vibe during the day, and DJs playing vinyl at the weekends into the early hours, all for up to 300 people.

The rooftop terrace and event space with a retractable roof looks to be the spot to book when it opens, in a couple of weeks time.

Meanwhile, look out for a reboot of nearby bar All About Eve coming soon too, as Jamestown Road ups it’s game with these two newcomers joining a decent variety of global restaurants, a famous pub theatre and plenty more attractions…

🍷 Talking of lock ins, Fortess Rd’s lovely drinking establishment the Tabac Bar is offering its very first late night lock-in session this Saturday night (27th), with wines and cocktails being poured until 2am.


🍚 A new fine dining spot centered around risotto arrives in Fitzrovia’s Charlotte St this week. All’Onda will always have five or six serious risotti on the menu - such as cuttlefish, nduja and parsley, or artichokes, coffee, black lime and sweetbreads - with a range of sides and mains to compliment.

🍳 Queues stretching around the undercroft at St Pancras International are more usually for the Eurostar, but a new branch of the ever-popular The Breakfast Club will soon be bringing their trademark waiting lines of hungry people to join the trans-continental fray, seeking the all-day menu of to-die-for eggs, waffles, melts and loaded tater tots.

🌮 Purveyors of LA-style slow-cooked beef tacos in London, Taco Collective have just taken up a summer residency at York Way’s refurbed BBQ & beer terrace, Two Tribes Campfire.

🍛 Pint-sized authentic Holborn boozer The Enterprise on Red Lion Street sees Roshan’s Kitchen launching next week, coming from some chefs previously of much-missed Crouch End institution Banner’s. They will be bringing Jerk Chicken, Caribbean Goat and fiery Sri Lankan Curries to a strip that is already an amazing hotspot for pan-Asian cuisine.

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🔊 Beyond The Bassline is brings 500 years of Black Music to the British Library

Jazzie B of Camden icons Soul II Soul

The BL launches a major new exhibition and event series tomorrow night, Beyond The Bassline, which demonstrates that black music history on these shores stretches back far beyond the pivotal Windrush era.

It promises not only to be about the music, but also the places where new sounds were born: the UK’s clubs, carnivals and communities.

Make sure to book for some of the talks, performances and lates, (with a fabulously inclusive ‘pay what you can’ ticketing policy) which begin with Eddy Grant tonight, followed by the likes of Soul II Soul, Joan Armatrading, George the Poet, DJ Paulette, Jamz Supernova and more.

🫂 The Camden Inspire Festival will be back this summer, and they currently have a callout for performers, traders and creatives who’s like to run workshops at the popular 3-day event, which takes place in the heart of Camden Town in September.

🍕 This time last year, restaurant chain Pizza Express launched a record label, to showcase some of the artists coming up through their network of jazz-infused live venues. To celebrate PX Records first anniversary, from today you’ll find record shops inside their Soho and Holborn venues too, as our collective love of vinyl (and yes, CDs) holds gloriously strong.

Camdenist in partnership with

🎭 Ballet to ballads, comedy to cabaret

GISELLE: REMIX at The Pleasance

🩰 A punk reimagining of the classic ballet, GISELLE: REMIX retells the timeless love story as a queer lip-sync cabaret of hook-ups, heartbreak and happy-ever-after, at The Pleasance tonight and tomorrow (26th-27th April).

🎹 Kilburn’s Kiln Theatre has just started a run of The Ballad of Hattie and James (until May 18th), which sees two close friends reunited after decades apart when Hattie’s performance on a piano at St Pancras International goes viral.

🤣 Laugh Till It Hurts is a one-off night of blockbuster stand-up in aid of food bank heroes The Trussell Trust, featuring Mark Dolan, Sindhu Vee, Rhys James, Matt Richardson, Adam Buxton, Nick Helm, Simon Evans and Arthur Smith. It’s at UCL’s Bloomsbury Theatre on Wednesday night (1st May).

👯‍♀️ Cabaret night The Vegas Strip at Phoenix Arts Club on Thursday (2nd) sees performers Cleopantha, Lilly SnatchDragon and Mark Anthony raising funds to get themselves over to the world-renowned Burlesque Hall of Fame in Las Vegas, where they have all been selected to compete this June.


🎶Live and local this week

Sons of Town Hall at St Pancras Old Church

🎚️Merging traditional reggae, rocksteady and dub with classic and contemporary influences from electronica to rock n’ roll, West Hampstead Arts Club hosts selectors Undercover Cockney tonight (26th April).

🥚Dingwalls hosts long-time festival circuit live house and rocktronic funk band The Egg tonight (26th), bringing their AV show inside for some bass-driven dancing.

Head to the ever-atmospheric venue of St Pancras Old Church on Wed (1st May) as Sons of Town Hall gorgeous harmonies, intricate guitar lines, and poetic lyrics transport listeners across time and space to the open ocean and the wilds of the American frontier in a show that’s three-parts concert, one-part theater, and apparently ‘unlike anything else you’re likely to have experienced.’

🎶 The best known floor-singers night in London sees everyone welcome to join in and belt out trad songs, ballads, shanties, rousing choruses and plenty more at Sharp’s Folk Club at Primrose Hill’s Cecil Sharp House on Tuesday (30th)


📊 This week’s 1-click poll

Is Thomas Heatherwick right about the wellbeing catastrophe of 'boring' buildings?

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