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Preview: The Filling Station

Friday 29 June 2012

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It has been a slow and expensive process but the area around Kings Cross is emerging like an urban butterfly from its chrysalis.

To me, it seems that the start of this was the refurbishment of George Gilbert Scott’s Midland Grand Hotel (now the St. Pancras Renaissance London Hotel) and it has encompassed the new St Pancras International terminal and the Central Saint Martin’s campus near Granary Square. Hopefully this will continue and the Kings Cross area will shed its slightly grubby image.

Newly re-designed, the Filling Station has added its name to this list. In a less than salubrious setting an old BP garage has had an architectural and functional make-over by the architects Carmody Groarke.

The Filling Station has an elegant Miami-esque Art Deco quality with a hint of Detroit Motor City industrial. It is officially a ‘semi-permanent structure’ but it is intended to be more than just another Pop-Up.

Within the space is Shrimpy’s restaurant/ diner which has been well received – its cuisine style is West Coast American, an approach to cooking and ingredients which is exciting and un-cliched.

As well as food, it is offering a space for cultural events and coming up in July is a short programme of talks and discussions. . Opening on 10 July, the Vauxhall Ampera Season programme is planned to last 6 months. The evenings of 10-12 July, titled the Vauxhall Ampera Forethought Series,  have an appropriately modern and technical theme. TThe first evening will be a collection of talks under the banner of Motor Culture and will be based on the theme of mobility; its past and possible future. Respected and experienced figures including Luke Wright, Stephen Bayley, Geoff Dyer and Dr Michael Jump will be taking part.

On the second night technology magazine WIRED will host a panel discussion which will revolve around the title of Four Things You Need to Know for the Future.

The third evening is hosted by Wallpaper magazine, an established design-led publication, who are hoping to challenge us with ideas developing from the premise of The New City.

The Filling Station hopes to be hosting many more cultural events in the future and this, albeit temporary, space promises to be a valuable addition to the expanding hub around Kings Cross.

Words: Rose Davison