Big Yellow Self Storage opens a flagship store in Kings Cross


On 5th June 2023, Big Yellow Self Storage opened its 109th store, located in Kings Cross, London, boasting what could be named as the UK’s largest floor art installation in a commercial setting. Measuring 5,000 square feet – larger than two tennis courts – the one-of-a-kind floor art installation was conceived and created by artist Danny Rolph over the last three years and is complemented by two 153cm x 122cm canvas paintings.

The new flagship store features a wide range of state-of-the-art facilities including 1,600 storage units, all individually alarmed and with unique PIN code access, 13 flexible offices and a communal business hub. Big Yellow Kings Cross is also home to over 400 climate-controlled, individual wine cellars, and a wine tasting room.

With regard to the art installation, Danny Rolph drew inspiration from an interest in quantum physics and the concept of Schrödinger’s cat – how two things can exist simultaneously and influence each other – he was given an open brief for the installation.

Danny Rolph explains: “As an artist who primarily works in galleries and studios, this project was a truly unique experience for me. The scale alone presented an exciting challenge that I couldn’t resist. I’ve always wanted to push the boundaries of painting, to take it beyond the confines of a domestic setting into something much grander, which is how the idea of ‘Quantum Entanglement’ took shape.”

The concept behind ‘Quantum Entanglement’ involves two canvases, each featuring the same composition but in different colours, representing night and day. Positioned in different areas of the building, none of the three elements of the installation can be perceived in a single sightline, emphasising their similarity yet distinctiveness. The floor itself plays a crucial role, serving as a composite of the two paintings when viewed up close. The work is printed and embedded within the floor across the ground floor area, including the customer reception, managers’ office, communal business hub, ground floor flexi offices and the main meeting room.

Rolph continued: “I wanted to play with scale, time and quantum mechanics, with physics and orientation subtly integrated. I drew inspiration from Giorgio de Chirico’s metaphysical paintings as well as the film ‘Interstellar’ ’for its exploration of coexisting timelines. These influences helped shape the concept behind ‘Quantum Entanglement’, blending colours, time, and a sense of ethereal existence.
Working with Big Yellow Self Storage has been an absolute pleasure, and I must express my gratitude to Construction Director Nigel Hartley and the rest of his team, for their unwavering support and trust in my artistic vision. They allowed me complete creative freedom, both technically and conceptually. Also, the design and installation team at Sphere8 have been brilliant.”

Nick Vetch, Big Yellow Group PLC Chairman said: “The new Kings Cross store demonstrates an exciting journey of innovation and growth for Big Yellow Self Storage, with the state-of-the-art facilities and wine cellars being an example of this. We are also thrilled to have the opportunity to support and showcase the incredible talent of a local artist like Danny, who captivated us with his artistic vision and skill.
Choosing our new flagship London store as the location for this project was a deliberate decision. We wanted to ensure that Danny’s artwork would be visible to a wider audience, creating a vibrant and engaging experience for all those who use the new facility, whilst demonstrating our commitment to supporting local artists and fostering creativity within the community.”

Alongside its one-of-a-kind art installation, the new Kings Cross location also offers individual climate-controlled wine cellars suitable for collectors, restaurateurs, wine distributors and event organisers who are looking for peace of mind when storing their valuable wine collection. The individually alarmed cellars come in a range of sizes starting from a 12-case space, upwards. Meanwhile, the climate control ensures wines are stored in optimal conditions; around 12 to 13 degrees Celsius in temperature and a humidity of 55 to 65 percent.

With the store located in Kings Cross, the facility is also a convenient choice for those who buy wine in Europe to enjoy or sell in the UK via the Eurostar.

Wine collectors will also be able to make the most of the on-site tasting room which will be available to hire, meaning customers can spend less time, effort, and cost transporting stock to tasting events and instead host them at Big Yellow.

Sustainability is also a key priority for Big Yellow, and the Kings Cross store has been fitted with a wide range of green features designed to reduce its environmental impact. Meanwhile, the store has been designed with materials which fit comfortably within its surroundings. The artisan brickwork and Crittal windows are a nod towards the Victorian warehouses and the industrial heritage of the Kings Cross area.

Outside the store, Big Yellow has added a rooftop 50 KwPeak solar system, air source heat pumps and water saving devices to maximise renewable energy usage and minimise waste. A green roof has also been installed together with a selection of bird boxes, bat boxes and insect hotels, all designed to improve bio diversity and encourage visits from local wildlife. On-site, customers will be able make use of 16 bicycle parking spots or top up their electric cars in one of two new EV charging bays.

Big Yellow is used by domestic, student and business customers all looking for short or long-term storage. These include people going through key life events such as moving home in either the private or rental market, home renovations or growing the family. Alternatively, people living in local apartments with limited space or those looking for a storage room away from home use Big Yellow Self Storage as a way of extending their space at home. Businesses such as online retailers, events companies and tradespeople benefit from Big Yellow for the secure storage of stock, merchandise, and equipment. Thanks to its central location, the Kings Cross facility is ideal for companies looking for convenient, last mile distribution into Central London.
The flexible storage units are available to rent from just one week, and boast a large variety of sizes; from 9 sq ft up to 500 sq ft. Each unit is individually alarmed and has its own unique PIN access code, and the site is monitored 24/7 by either remote security or its staff on site seven days a week, so customer belongings are kept safe and secure.

For local people and businesses looking to take a step away from working from home, but still maintain flexibility, the site also has 13 new office spaces available to rent, which include both internet access and phone lines. The flexible working spaces also include a communal business hub with meeting areas, soft seating and a kitchen, providing everything needed for a work-from-home-away-from-home location.

Located at 200 York Way, London, Big Yellow Self Storage is here to help local people and businesses bring more space into their lives.