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Haptic and Jan Kattein win approval for King’s Cross habitat zone and gym

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Islington planners have signed off one of the final projects at King’s Cross, which includes a Haptic Architects-designed leisure space and an ecological garden by Jan Kattein Architects

The triangular site off York Way and Randell’s Road is called W Zone and features three mixed-use buildings arranged around a central garden.

The approvals have been described by landowner King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership (KCCLP) – headed by developer Argent – as ‘one of the final pieces of the puzzle’ on the major regeneration project.

The plot features Haptic’s 1,500m² W3 – a three-storey building with a gym, a nursery and a café designed with a cross-laminated timber (CLT) structure, solar panels and a green roof.

It will also include Jan Kattein Architects’ Habitat Zone, designed in collaboration with educational charity Global Generation, including four small, single-storey educational buildings: a community kitchen, a classroom, an admin building and a growing tunnel.

A 1,097m² ecology garden sits at its heart, featuring a wildlife meadow, an orchard, fruit and vegetable planters and a wildlife maze. 

Axo habitat zones jankatteinarchitects

Axo habitat zones jankatteinarchitects

The wider Zone W also includes 218 homes, approved through reserved matters in 2016, designed by the plot masterplanners David Morley Architects and Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios.

The residential element W1 includes two blocks of 11 storeys and 16 storeys comprising 140 private residential apartments with a single retail unit at street level fronting York Way.

Meanwhile, Building W2 is an eight-storey mixed-tenure building with 36 social rented apartments, 23 intermediate apartments and 19 private flats. It will also include three retail units fronting on to York Way. 

Late last year, Alison Brooks Architects submitted proposals for a 15,000m² residential tower scheme at King’s Cross.

Speaking about the submission, KCCLP project director Jamie Smith said: ‘We are thrilled that the entirety of W Zone now has the go-ahead and we are excited for works to start on the site next year.

‘More than 10 years on from the start of construction works, we are proud to have finalised the detailed design of one of the final pieces of the King’s Cross puzzle.’

Haptic Architects director Timo Haedrich said:We are very proud that this exciting project has been given the go-ahead. The building will provide a meaningful community centre, a place for people to learn, exercise and socialise. 

‘The openness and transparency of the ground floor; its concertinaing wall, movable screens and integrated seats create a seamless flow between the building and the adjacent public realm.

‘The focus is to achieve the highest degree of sustainability. Timber is used in both the structure and façade, a material which has intrinsic tactile and pleasant qualities, fitting for a community hub.’

Jan Kattein from Jan Kattein Architects added: ‘Urban ecologies are some of the most interesting habitats on our planet and it is fantastic news that our project will be able to bring a little piece of wilderness to people’s doorstep.’ 

The W Zone is set to complete in 2022. Operators for the Habitat Zone and leisure facilities will be announced in the due course. 

Kings cross plot

Kings cross plot

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