King’s Cross completes on its latest office building

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Posted: Monday 16th November 2020

A striking new office building, 22 Handyside Street at King’s Cross, designed by Coffey Architects, has now completed. Located, on the corner of Handyside Street and York Way of the 67-acre King’s Cross development, the building features a skewed, pitched roof, perforated aluminium façade and double height windows. Internally, the design of the building maximises the use of light and space to promote wellness for the building’s occupiers. It spans over 36,000 sq ft and targets BREEAM Outstanding.

The building’s form is determined by three factors: the position of the sun, the site perimeter and the site’s structural grid. Like its neighbouring building, the King’s Cross Sports Hall, 22 Handyside Street sits above underground railway tunnels meaning it needed to be super lightweight. Responding to these elements, Coffey Architects shifted the three-storey building diagonally. This helped balance the weight of the building as well as improving the orientation for maintaining heat and maximising the views from the building.

22 Handyside Street is built of lightweight concrete and steel, with a façade composed of glazed curtain walling and perforated aluminium panels. These silver sections enliven the building both inside and out, with perforations artfully reflecting the trees of Handyside Gardens. The material maximises ambient light levels and reflects the colours of the London sky throughout the day. The main east/west axis along Handyside Street creates filigree moments of light at sunrise and sunset. Behind the patterned façade, its interior spaces are lit with naturally dappled light, enhancing wellbeing for those working in the building.

To further improve wellbeing, Coffey Architects worked with Townshend Landscape Architects to enhance the public realm with planting to the east including seating and pockets of planting and cycle parking to the south.

Will Colthorpe, Partner, King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership comments: “It’s been a brilliant journey from design competition to completion. The whole design and construction team have done a great job and really pulled together these last few months. Many of us have been up to see the building early in the morning to watch the autumn sunrise reflecting in the façade – it’s one of those truly magical moments and the concept has been absolutely nailed.  The decision to lay the building out on a raked grid was an early masterstroke in the design and, combined with the vaulted ceiling, the finished space internally is pretty stunning.”

Phil Coffey, Director at Coffey Architects said, “Being conscious of the movement of the sun improves our health and concentration; it reconnects us to our circadian rhythms. Q1 is a building designed around form and façade. Its orientation, cleave, percolation and shine quite literally reflect our approach to making a bright building that is striking in its form but also considered carefully in terms of tenant wellbeing. With the creation of a building that is both good to work in and expressive to the city, we continue to explore connecting users viscerally to their environment through the manipulation of light.”

This project was delivered by BAM construction with Stride Treglown.

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