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King’s Cross moves: Bennetts wins approval, Alison Brooks lands tower scheme

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Bennetts Associates has won planning permission for the next phase of office development at King’s Cross – a 48,400m² two-building scheme at the northern end of the site

Adding to the 323,000m² of commercial space already approved at King’s Cross to date, the Bennetts buildings on plots T2 and T3 will combine offices with flexible retail spaces at ground level.

The scheme also includes a Public Health Care Centre on the ground floor of T2, to be run by NHS England.

Clad in a ‘light bronze metallic finish’, the 12 and 10-storey blocks will be named 11 and 21 Canal Reach.

David Laing, studio director at Bennetts Associates, said: ’This is our fourth major project for Argent at King’s Cross. As with our community building for Camden Council at 5 Pancras Square, it aims to achieve a BREEAM Outstanding energy rating within a strong architectural form, which in this case is based on a crescent comprising four faceted façades, each of which has a solar control function.’

He added: ‘Internally, the lessons from previous projects of exposed thermal mass and air circulation have resulted in taller-than-normal workspace and a lively arrangement of atria.

‘The T2 and T3 projects form a backdrop to the northern part of the King’s Cross site, reflecting the curve of the adjacent railway lines.’

It has also emerged that Alison Brooks Architects has scooped a contest to design a 17-storey residential project within the 27ha masterplan. The tower is understood to be the practice’s tallest scheme to date.

Architect’s view

The buildings’ facades will reference the site’s railway and industrial past, with a light bronze metallic finish. The west side of the buildings, visible from the railway tracks, will pick up on the yellow-bronze colours of the railway-scape, adopting a metallic finish which responds to the light as the curve of the building changes its angle to the sun. Forming a continuous crescent, they will become a unified part of the townscape, complementing Canal Reach with outdoor areas to catch the morning sunshine.

In addition, there will be two large roof terraces with planting inspired by mature ‘meadow’ wildflower and tree-scapes, giving visitors and office workers the chance to take in spectacular views of the nearby Gasholder Park and Regent’s Canal. Both buildings are targeting the BREEAM standard ‘Outstanding’.

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