Argent is looking to appoint up to 10 new architects to work on its £2 billion King’s Cross redevelopment
The string of future architectural appointments remains up for grabs almost six years after outline planning was won for the 27-hectare central London brownfield regeneration.
Sites on the masterplan still without architects include one with five buildings totalling 70,000m² of office space directly next to King’s Cross station. At the time of going to press, Argent declined to comment on a report in the Evening Standard published this week that AHMM had been appointed to build a new HQ for Google on the plot.
Also on the table are two pedestrian bridges and a ‘quirky’ pavilion close to Stanton Williams’ £90 million new Central Saint Martins campus, which completed last year as a centrepiece of the Porphyrios Associates, Allies & Morrison, and Townshend Landscape Architects-masterplanned railway land redevelopment.
Argent joint chief executive David Partridge expects to make between five and 10 architectural appointments over the next decade, potentially including the re-masterplanning of the area’s north-west quarter that could provide work for up to eight practices.
Asked how the company picks architects, Partridge explained: ‘It’s a combination of people we’ve known in the past and people we’d like to work with.’
The scheme’s original masterplanners would sit on the competition panel of any future design contests, he said.
The practice chosen to design the Aga Khan Development Network’s planned culture and education centre on the site has yet to be announced.
Carmody Groarke’s scheme to transform a disused petrol station on the site’s eastern edge into temporary restaurant and events space, the Filling Station, won planning last week (1 March).
Bell Phillips’ 2009 open competition-winning scheme for the area’s iconic gasholders, which have been relocated, has been tweaked to feature a sunken amphitheatre. Amended proposals will soon be submitted for planning.
Projects on site include housing by Maccreanor Lavington, Glenn Howells and PRP at the northern end; and offices by Bennetts Associates, Wilmotte Associates, David Chipperfield Architects and Allies & Morrison in the south. Chipperfield’s eight-storey scheme includes a subterranean entrance to King’s Cross underground station.
‘We’ve been able to break it down into bite-sized chunks,’ said Partridge, describing King’s Cross as ‘bringing development into a bunch of tiny sites… delivered as a string of 50 or 60 projects.’
Argent owns a 50 per cent stake in the land but is development manager for the entire site, allowing it to control design quality. London and Continental Railways and logistics company DHL own the remaining stakes. King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership is the developer and brings together all three firms.
‘We will only part with land on the basis the design works with the overall masterplan and there is an absolute commitment for delivering them,’ Partridge said. Schemes are also reviewed by Argent’s board before approval.
We spent ￡250 million on building the place and infrastructure,’ said Partridge. This strategy and the ‘strength of the masterplan’ has allowed development to proceed on a plot by plot basis.
The King’s Cross redevelopment masterplan
Canal Reach T6; Glenn Howells; 657-unit student accommodation; on site, completion Q3 2013
Canal Reach T5; Stanton Williams; Aga Khan student accommodation; concept design
York Way R5(N); Maccreanor Lavington; mixed-use social housing; on site, completion Q1 2013
York Way R5(S); Maccreanor Lavington; mixed-use residential; Stage D design
Source: © The Neighbourhood
York Way R4; PRP Architects; mixed-use social housing; on site, completion Q3 2012
Cubitt Park R3; TBC; residential
Handyside Street R1; TBC; Aga Khan education centre; brief development
Handyside Street R2; Allies and Morrison; 36,000m² offices; Stage D design
Handyside Street Q1; TBC; Aga Khan offices; brief development
ArtHouse; dRMM; 143-unit residential; on site, completion Q3 2013
Handyside Canopy; Stanton Williams; market; completed September 2011
Canalside Pavilion; Stanton Williams; restaurant; Stage C design
Central Saint Martins; Stanton Williams; 40,000m2 art school; completed September 2011
Western Transit Shed; Stanton Williams; retail and offices; on site, completion Q4 2012
Fish and Coal Offices; David Morley Architects; office conversion;concept design
Source: © GMJ
Coal Drops; Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands; boutique retail; concept design
Gasholder Triplet; Wilkinson Eyre; residential; concept design
Gasholder No. 8; Bell Phillips; event space; concept design
Canal Reach T1; Niall McLaughlin; mixed-residential; start on site 2012
Canal Reach T2; Bennetts Associates; 16,000m² offices; Stage C design
Handyside Street P1; David Morley; mixed-use residential and deaf school; start on site 2012
Cubitt Square P2; TBC; Aga Khan cultural centre; brief development
Petrol Filling Station; Carmody Groarke; restaurant; planning approved
Pancras Square B3; Bennetts Associates; Camden Council offices; on-site, completion Q3 2014
Pancras Square B5; Eric Parry; 16,000m² offices; concept design
Pancras Square B6, Porphyrios Associates; 14,700m² offices; reserve matters approval
Pancras Square B4; Allies & Morrison; 11,400m² offices; basement on site, delivery Q1 2014
Source: © GMJ
Pancras Square B2, David Chipperfield; 5,100m² offices; basement on site, delivery Q4 2013
Pancras Square B1; Wilmotte Associates; 31,500m² BNP Paribas offices; on site, completion Q1 2015
Clarence Passage E1; Studio Downie; 1,800m² offices; Stage D design
Great Northern Hotel; Dextor Moren; 95-bed hotel; on site, completion Q1 2013
Schemes with architects yet to be confirmed include five office buildings next to King’s Cross station, two pedestrian bridges; a ‘quirky’ pavilion and potential re-masterplanning of the north-west quarter
Pancras Square; Townshend Landscape Architects; city square; on site
Granary Square;Townshend Landscape Architects; square with water fountains; on site, completion June
Handyside Park; Dan Pearson Studio; gardens with play area; on site, completion August 2013
Cubitt Square and Cubitt Park; TBC; brief development
Wharf Road Park; Townshend Landscape Architects; concept design
King’s Cross work still to be won