BLOG / Regent’s Wharf: Where History Meets Innovation

Regent’s Wharf: Where History Meets Innovation

Regent’s Wharf: Where History Meets Innovation

Regent’s Wharf: Where History Meets Innovation

By the waters of Regent's Canal in King's Cross, a remarkable transformation is taking place - a cutting-edge canalside campus.

A Legacy Rooted in Industry

In the annals of London’s industrial history, the story of Regent’s Wharf is one of resilience, adaptation, and innovation. The Industrial Revolution and the birth of North London’s railway network, made Regent’s Canal a lifeline for the city.

Originating from Paddington and extending to Camden Town before reaching the Thames in 1820, Regent’s Canal attracted enterprising visionaries who seized the opportunity to establish warehouses, workshops, and mills at what would become Regent’s Wharf. Its strategic location, where waterways met railways at King’s Cross, made it an ideal hub for commerce and trade.

As rail transport gained prominence throughout the 19th century, some contemplated converting the canal into railway tracks, but these plans thankfully never materialized.


A Glimpse into the Past

By 1849, maps began to depict Regent’s Wharf, which included a timber yard housing ‘Haggis and Sons The Caledonian Patent Sawing and Planing Mills.’ The site also served as the premises of Coles, Shadbolt and Company, known for their quicklime, a crucial component in the extensive construction projects catering to London’s booming population. Interestingly, this bright white lime was used to illuminate theaters at the time, coining the term ‘limelight.’

In 1857, Thorley’s Food for Cattle took over the site, transforming it into stables, a spice mill, packing offices, and warehouses. Over the years, Regent’s Wharf continued to evolve, attracting a diverse range of industries from packing to publishing, benefitting from its canal connections and the central King’s Cross location.

For over a century, Joseph Thorley’s Ltd, a family-owned business, reigned supreme in the industrial realm, creating and distributing ‘spicy aromatic condiments’ that enhanced the vitality of livestock worldwide. Their inventive products, marketed with captivating advertisements and collectible branding, earned them royal recognition in 1892. The history of Thorley’s as the iconic pig and colors lives on in the Regent’s Wharf brand.

The chosen renders highlight the thoughtful blend of retrofitted historic buildings with modern architecture, showcasing the client and architects’ sensitive yet bold approach. Particularly, the 360 courtyard view stands out as a central point where old meets new, showcasing this connection by revealing both the sensitive external design and different internal characters of each building.

– Josh Molnar, Architect and Project Manager for Regent’s Wharf

A Glimpse into the Future

As we fast forward to the present day, Regent’s Wharf stands as a testament to history’s resilience and innovation’s potential. Three historic buildings, carefully restored, will be complemented by modern spaces, creating an inspiring environment for the trailblazers and innovators of tomorrow.

The rich layer of history has defined the project architecturally and as a place with character. This is celebrated by naming each of the 4 interconnected buildings after their historic uses, ‘Thorley Works, Canal Building, The Mill, The Packing House.’ This sensitive approach to the project as a placemaking strategy is where our VisionWalk Solution really comes into play, by offering an orbital perspective of the building using infographics and  allowing the user to open up the floorplans to understand how the interior connections of these buildings work.

– Josh Molnar, Architect and Project Manager for Regent’s Wharf

You can explore the Regent’s Wharf Vision Walk here.

This next-generation warehouse conversion ushers in the future of progressive work environments, where history and innovation coexist harmoniously. Here, at the intersection of heritage and cutting-edge design, Regent’s Wharf welcomes an ecosystem of grafters, trend setters and inventors.

A dream opportunity for a business and a dream project for us, thank you BentallGreenOak for entrusting us with this gem!

Check out other blog posts for our latest news, interesting clients, and beautiful projects!