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Art school moves to brand-new campus in King’s Cross

PUBLISHED: 16:56 15 October 2011

King's Cross Central - Eastern Transit Shed

King's Cross Central - Eastern Transit Shed

John Sturrock

»One of the country’s most famous art schools has moved to a new £200million campus in King’s Cross.

Central St Martins College of Art and Design, the former students of which read like a who’s who of the creative industries, started the term last week in the Granary Building in Granary Square – part of the multimillion-pound King’s Cross development.

The college runs courses in art, fashion and textile design, communication and performance.

Central St Martins counts Jarvis Cocker, Colin Firth, AA Gill, John Galliano, Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen and MIA among its alumni.

Now its 4,000 students and 1,000 staff will have access to 10 acres of floor space 
and top-of-the-range facilities, including workshops, film, sound and post-production studios, darkrooms, jewellery workshops, art studios and a 350-seat theatre with its own entrance, which should be finished 
tomorrow.

3D printer

Other features of note include a 3D printer, which can reproduce virtual images in the physical world using hot jets of materials, and a covered public street, which will be taken over by students for performances 20 days a year.

The Granary Building is a Grade II listed property dating back to 1851 which, as its name suggests, was originally used to store grain at the height of the Victoran industrial boom.

The site, near the Regent’s Canal as well as King’s Cross and St Pancras railway stations, made it ideal for distributing the grain around the country.

Professor Jane Ripley, head of Central St Martins, said: “The new building will change the atmosphere and make it easier for students to mix with people in the streets. It will also enable us to thrive in, not a brave new world, but a world that requires us to be brave. The move has also been cathartic for the staff.

“Now, we have some pretty powerful and interesting neighbours, and we hope our college will bring life to the area and bring it a kind of grittiness.

“Mr Lethaby, the first head of the school, was all in favour of plain, reasonable and well-built architecture. I don’t know about plain, but our new home is certainly reasonable and well-built.”


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