R7 King’s Cross

Duggan Morris Architects, London, 2017

 

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There are 10 storeys of office space 

Jack Hobhouse     Download Original

  • There are 10 storeys of office space    
  • The building sits in the huge regeneration scheme at King    
  • The concrete structural columns    
  • The façade is modelled through a series of set-backs that create terraces and balcony spaces for each of the office floors    
  • The building sits next to an old transit shed    
  • The space will be open to the public and is spacious enough to display art or even hold small events    
  • A cast concrete colonnade accents the main entrance    
  • From the first floor up, the office floors are laid out around a 6m structural grid and are ultra-flexible    
  • R7 was an opportunity to create the next generation of commercial space at King’s Cross     
  • Site plan    
  • Floor plans    
  • Section AA    
  • Typical facade detail    

This distinctively coloured office building is another addition to the regeneration of King’s Cross in London.

A major organising design move was to make the entrance lobby into an internal ‘forum’ or ‘street’. The 7m-tall space cuts up through the centre of the building, its concrete floor picking up the external pink colour. The space is spacious enough to display art or hold small events. It runs between the main south entrance and a secondary one in the north, which aligns with a pedestrianised fissure cutting through Piercy & Co’s primarily residential plot behind and connects diagonally with the new Lewis Cubitt Park to the north-west. 

To the left of this internal ‘forum’, a half-level drops down to a sunken restaurant space at the front, which sits under the hanging concrete bulk of a cinema auditorium, left expressed and visible from the street, shrouded in hanging folds of acoustic grey felt. The cinema is accessed at mezzanine level and served by an upper lobby/bar area, further animating the space.

The façade is made of powder-coated aluminium, with delicate protruding vertical fins for sun protection. Because of the set-backs to the sides, some of the concrete structural columns inside block the glazing, underlining its separation as a prefabricated shell.

Overall, the façade is modelled through a series of set-backs that create terraces and balcony spaces for each of the office floors, dictated by the need to maintain a prescribed cone of skylight down to street level. Thus the right-hand block is able to be taller than the left, as it faces the lower roof of an old transit shed, now with a Waitrose store nestled under its wing. 

From the first floor up, the office floors are laid out around a 6m structural grid and are ultra-flexible. Structurally the only off-key note is struck by the doubling up of structure and insertion of transfer beams which support the weight of the set-backs and shifting line of the façade above.

Data

  • Begun: May 2015
  • Completed: Jul 2017
  • Floor area: 22,913m2
  • Sectors: Retail, Office
  • Total cost: £70.2M
  • Procurement: Design and Build
  • Address: King's Cross, London, N1C 4AL, United Kingdom

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