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First look at Bennetts' Camden Council HQ

Bennetts Associates has released the first photographs of its recently finished 5 Pancras Square in King’s Cross

The headquarters for Camden Council is the largest building to be completed so far in the southern quarter of Argent’s King’s Cross redevelopment, which also includes buildings by David Chipperfield and Allies and Morrison.

The 14-storey building includes a leisure centre with a public swimming pool, a library, café, a customer service centre and staff offices.

Featuring a triple-height entrance lobby the building works with the topography of the sloping site, providing an entrance with direct access to the leisure facilities off Pancras Road and an administrative entrance at the upper-ground floor level from Pancras Square.

The ten floors of office space will house council staff who are currently split across six sites throughout the borough.

The building will open to the public on 19 July.

5 Pancras Square by Bennetts Associates

The architect’s view

With 5 Pancras Square we sought to create an exemplary civic building that is uplifting, spatially diverse and enduring while also being economically efficient and pushing the boundaries of sustainability on a constrained urban site.

5 Pancras Square is on track to achieve one of the highest BREEAM ratings yet achieved for a building of its type in the UK. This has been achieved through a robust and simple design based on a combination of passive and active design features. This includes exposing the thermal mass of the concrete structure, angled cladding and low glazing ratios to give solar shading and control solar gain, maximising daylight to the centre of the building and an energy-efficient hybrid ventilation system. The building is also linked to a site-wide district heating network, which provides 100 per cent of the development’s heating and hot water needs.

Bringing the majority of Camden Council office-based staff to one site, 5 Pancras Square enables the Council to deliver better, more efficient public services and achieve important cost savings. Through selling old inefficient accommodation and moving to the new site, the Council will cut carbon emissions by an estimated 64 per cent. Based on current energy costs this would lead to projected annual savings of more than £500,000.

5 Pancras Square by Bennetts Associates

Project data

Location King’s Cross, London
Type of project mixed-use
Client Camden Council
Architect Bennetts Associates 
Leisure facilities architect LA Architects
Structural engineer AKT II 
M&E engineer Grontmij 
Quantity surveyor Gardiner + Theobald
Main contractor Kier Construction
Start on site date February 2012
Completion date July 2014
Gross external area 20,404m²
Gross internal floor area 2,906m² (leisure centre), 1,912m² (library and customer service centre), and 14,980m² (offices)
Environmental targets BREEAM Outstanding

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