The new high-grade office building, Four Kingdom Street, has been designed by the practice for British Land next to Paddington railway station
The canal-side development, part of Paddington Central, provides more than 12,800m² of commercial office space over nine flexible floorplates above a generous reception area and retail spaces.
Its stepped northern elevation responds to the angled edge of the Westway, while its southern elevation is deeply shaded, with a reception area opening out on to the new public space of Kingdom Square, with adjacent meeting rooms, touchdown spaces and a coffee area. On its western side, a glazed triangular form projects outwards enclosing a series of stacked meeting pods orientated for views out over west London.
‘We set out to create a building appropriate to the scale, toughness and permanence of Brunel’s Paddington legacy and the Westway,’ says Allies and Morrison partner Alex Wraight. ‘Jean Prouvé and Pierre Chareau provided invaluable instruction as to how that aim could be interpreted at a human scale. But we also wanted to create a fun, healthy and relaxed building where the outside is always accessible and occupiers will interact and socialise.’
All the office floors have outdoor terraces, there is a communal roof garden and bar and naturally-lit WC cores.
600 Allies and Morrison Four Kindom Street 02
Source: Nick Guttridge
The building is tucked into a compact yet highly visible site adjacent to the Westway on a former railway goods yard. The architecture takes cues from this engineering and transportation history with hints found in the honest expression of structural details and mechanical components at a variety of scales, both in the facade and interior. We drew on industrial and Modernist references, all the while enhancing the otherwise conventional typology of the high-grade office building.
We worked with British Land to create a building that was more than just a place of work, but one of interaction; a place where one wants to be. In addition to outdoor terraces on all office floors, there is a large communal roof garden with a bar, seating area and sports court where people from the building can come together to unwind. A generous, glazed accommodation stair encourages movement between floors, with views over Little Venice and beyond. Naturally lit WC cores, on-floor showers and high-quality communal changing and drying facilities provide for a healthy lifestyle. A spacious reception opens directly on to Kingdom Square and includes meeting rooms, touchdown spaces and a coffee area.
The building has a unitised curtain wall, shaded on its southern elevation with deep, angled sun shades supported by struts. The structural steel frame is exposed throughout, services components are revealed and integrated, rougher industrial materials, less often associated with commercial offices, are used; all contributing to reveal a personality – an office building with a bit of an edge to it.
Alex Wraight, partner, Allies and Morrison
600 Allies and Morrison Four Kindom Street level 0 plan
Source: Allies and Morrison
Completion June 2017
Gross external area 18,600m²
Net internal area 14,200m²
BREEAM rating Excellent
Architect Allies and Morrison
Client British Land
Structural engineer Ramboll
M&E consultant WSP Group
Façade engineer Eintech Group
Acoustic engineer Scotch and Partners
Quantity surveyor / cost consultant Gardiner & Theobald
Project manager M3 Consulting
Landscape architect Townshend
Specialist lighting designer Into Lighting
Sustainability consultant Tuffin Ferraby Taylor
Fire engineer The Fire Surgery
Main contractor Wates Construction