This office building is located on the south side of the King’s Cross mixed use redevelopment, between King’s Cross and St Pancras International stations. Situated on a new public square, the volume is visible from all sides calling for a strong visual and civic identity. The design expresses strong tectonic horizontal and vertical elements: concrete floorplates extend beyond the building’s envelope while 396 cast iron columns emphasize and articulate the rhythm of the facades, adding character and depth, and recalling traditional post and beam structures. The columns stand clear of the rainscreen on the south facade, defining balconies on the upper floors giving the building a clear ‘front’ towards the urban square. On the other facades, the columns are engaged and form part of the envelope on the upper floors.
Cast by a foundry in Halifax with a surface pattern of woven straps, the columns are both a reminder of the site’s industrial past and a nod to Gottfried Semper’s theory about the role of weaving in the evolution of man-made structures.
On the ground floor, the facade is recessed to form a double-height colonnade defined by the freestanding iron columns, providing a sheltered public area and access to the ground floor on all sides. The public character of this colonnade is emphasized by an entrance to the Underground on the north-east corner and the two commercial units at ground level, engage the wider public with the interior, and strengthen the connection between the freestanding block and the city. The main entrances are on the east and west facades, leading into a double-height lobby lined with Italian black marble at ground level and white polished plaster above. A pair of central cores provides the main structure and defines the internal arrangement for the eight floors of column-free offices, favoring flexibility for tenants and accessibility for staff and visitors. Each office floor measures 655m2 with a further 55m2 balcony and a generous floor to ceiling height of 3.2m. The top floor is articulated as a ‘crown’ for the building, with a taller floor to ceiling height, and a building plant occupying the north end of the building. Despite the even appearance of the facades, underscored by the imposing presence of the columns and floor plates, each area has slight variations that adapt to its role or orientation.
One Pancras Square
Argent (King’s Cross) Ltd
David Chipperfield Architects London;
David Chipperfield (principal principal), Oliver Ulmer, Andrew Phillips (director director); Peter Jurschitzka, Mattias Kunz (director de proyecto project architect), Robert Chandler, Todd Coglon, Gabriel Sanchiz, Rafael Schmid, Steffi Wedde (equipo de proyecto project team)
Adams Kara Taylor (estructura structural engineer); Grontmij (instalaciones services engineer); Speirs + Major (iluminación exterior external lighting); AECOM (protección contra incendios Fire consultant); Davis Langdon/AECOM (gestión de proyecto project management); AECOM (aparejador quantity surveyor), Hargreaves Foundry (fundición de hierro iron casting); BAM Construction Ltd (contratista general contractor)