Granary Square

London, United Kingdom


Stanton Williams

Knight Architects

Landscape Architect
Townshend Landscape Architects

Architecture + Environment

Granary Square, at the heart of King’s Cross Central, is one of London’s most significant and celebrated new public spaces. It is a vibrant destination that plays host to a wide range of cultural events.

Our lighting design for the square provides the high level of flexibility required for these events together with an elegant architectural and landscape scheme for the intervening periods.

To define the space and provide a backdrop for activities in the square, we framed it with light. The ‘frame’ consists of the soft illumination of the imposing Granary Building façade along one side, the illumination of a grid of pleached trees at one end, and the light emanating from the lantern-like Pavilion Building at the other end (under construction).

The square itself is very gently illuminated using an indirect lighting system. This minimises glare and keeps the square and adjacent street clear of lighting columns. The fixtures and reflectors are clustered onto two 15m Stanton Williams designed masts, which are carefully positioned to ensure an unobstructed view of the Granary Building.

During events the light levels can be raised when required to support the safe movement of thousands of people. Feeder pillars have also been provided to provide power and data to cater for temporary event lighting of an impressive scale; these retract into the ground when not in use.

When not occupied by an event, the square is filled by four rectangular water features. These can be left static and dark, reflecting the Granary Building and creating a quiet, contemplative space. When activated, hundreds of individually controlled and illuminated fountain jets provide an ever-changing spectacle and a focal point for the area.

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