Kings Cross, London
Following a decade of careful planning and a lot of hard work with many partners, Arthouse – the first phase of King’s Cross is now open to the public.
The £550m redevelopment project has transformed King’s Cross railway station and its surrounding area from its Victorian construction to its sleek contemporary rebuild, which will define the standard for new homes in the surrounding area. King’s Cross Central is one of the most significant development and regeneration opportunities in Central London and one of the largest urban regeneration projects to date in Europe.
The location of the Arthouse is simply fantastic; the building looks out over Regent’s Canal and the new Handyside Gardens with great views across the city. Surrounded by galleries, concert halls and museums and just minutes from the most connected transport hub in London, the building will offer contemporary city living and will be part of the brand new postcode, London N1C.
Arthouse itself, was a £42 million private residential scheme involving the Weedon Partnership and developed by Kier Construction.
Melanie Whild, Partner at Weedon Architects said, “This is a complex facade and due to the gradual curvature of the building in plan and the expressed apartment blocks no two intersections are ever the same. The elevations uses a variety of materials combining them to create unique spaces and apartments for all – each apartment is different to the next – individuals desire to be different to his neighbour is a factor which is often lost in apartment buildings.
Taylor Maxwell’s Paul Mears played a significant role in delivering the building’s striking facade. This comprises approximately 3000m2 Glazed Argeton Terracotta tiles which reflect the contextual colours of the site, through the juxtaposition of a contemporary light and dark monochrome palette. Each palette consisted of 4 colours of which 2 were satin and 2 were high gloss.
The combination of gloss colours used on this project were completely bespoke, therefore Taylor Maxwell worked with the contractor, client and Weedon Architects in order to select levels of gloss required from the manufacturer. The paramount benefit of this meant that the architect, client and contractor could be completely assured that the product they were choosing for such a prestigious project was the right one for them and would live up to their aesthetic expectations.
Melanie added, “we found the materials (the Argeton Terracotta Rainscreen tiles) versatile to achieve this goal. The impact of the high quality materials and overall design enhances the area and environment, the building is an external art form for all to appreciate and enjoy not just the owners and occupiers”.
The facade is complemented by a unique series of sliding louvred screens incorporated into the design as a response to the resident’s need for shade and privacy. These screens animate the face of the building through the random positioning by residents as they take advantage of their ability to control their environment with shading.
The building is home to 143 intelligently planned apartments distributed between four, 8-storey residential clusters, creating localized communities and the ability to maximise dual aspect apartments. The residential accommodation stands on a fully glazed chamfered plinth comprising commercial space and entrance lobbies, with a basement carpark.
The location, the connections, the canalside setting, the rich and varied heritage, an exciting cultural scene, a thriving business community, and a strong sense of local community. All these things come together at King’s Cross to make it unique, exciting and really quite special.
“We received an excellent responsive service which was at all times prompt and helpful, there were stages when we needed to make decisions quickly and build mock ups for the Planners - nothing was too much trouble for TM, the team even went to the Argeton Factory in Gorlitz, Germany at short notice to see the terracotta being made and select the final palette of colours”.
We received an excellent responsive service which was at all times prompt and helpful, there were stages when we needed to make decisions quickly and build mock ups for the Planners - nothing was too much trouble for Taylor Maxwell”