Planners have recommended approval for the first UK scheme by award-winning Japanese practice Maki and Associates
At a meeting of Camden Council’s development control committee on Friday (7 August), councillors will consider plans for a nine storey building providing 8,780m² of educational floorspace for the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN).
The scheme has been submitted as a full application because part of the boundary falls outside of the 2006 outline permission granted to developer Argent for former railway land at King’s Cross.
The proposed building would contain administrative space for the Institute of Ismaili Studies and the Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations plus a library and classrooms, along with ground floor shops and restaurants.
A report by planners said: ‘This is an elegantly detailed high quality proposal with strong sculptural expression derived from program and contextual analysis.
‘The generous terraces placed at strategic locations visually connect the surroundings through to the internal atrium.’
Maki is proposing limestone cladding as the primary material for a piano-nobile section, while the base and crown are ‘predominantly glazed with elements of contrasting metalwork’, according to the design and access statement produced alongside the application.
It said: ‘The materiality of the external cladding of the facade (the base, piano-Nobile and crown) articulates the spaces within, whilst responding to the building’s external context and setting, in particular the historical use of limestone throughout London which is evident throughout surrounding historical buildings within the Kings Cross site.’
The design provides for an overall reduction in carbon emissions of 35 per cent against Building Regulations Part L2A 2013, incorporating high performance building fabric, passive design features and a low carbon energy supply. The developer said that a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating is being targeted.
Maki is best known for projects including as 4 World Trade Centre, New York, and the Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat, Ontario, Canada, also in association with the AKDN.
AKDN is a group of non-denominational organisations working to improve the welfare of people in the developing world, particularly Asia and Africa.