R7, Kings Cross
by Duggan Morris Architects and Weedon Architects
Client Argent LLP
Awards RIBA London Award 2018 and RIBA National Award 2018
Sitting as the colourful backdrop to the Granary Building in the King’s Cross regeneration programme is R7 - the next generation of workplace.
Its striking and somewhat eccentric presence on a quiet street is by virtue of its colour and stepped form. The form has been established by working within the prescriptive parameters of the outline approval and in doing so, the architect has successfully maximised the opportunity.
The attempt to breakdown this massing through a series of set-backs and recesses creates south-facing terraces or gardens on each level, which benefit from views across the city. This sequence and laudable provision of outdoor spaces provides a sculptural interest and character to the building, often rare in corporate office buildings.
The two distinct shades of satin pink to the metal finned facade aids to split the block into two, with one being grounded by an exposed concrete colonnade. Everything on this building feels bespoke and colour matched to the ‘pink’ facade from the suspended lights in the colonnade to the paved flags on the terraces. It is a testament to the architect’s attention to detail and drive to make this project something very special and original.
The architect has strived to challenge the norm for offices and the ground floor experience is no exception. With its range of mixed uses including a restaurant, cocktail bar and boutique cinema, it is growing into a welcoming public foyer where one wants to spend time.
The sincerity in the ‘stripped back’ internal finishes with the exposed concrete structure is a delightful contrast to the crisp exterior, also offering flexibility and minimising abortive costs for tenant fit-outs.
The architect’s awareness to prioritise spend where it matters is evident in the design quality of the public spaces and amenities – money spent wisely.
The building tackles the problem of evolving workspaces well, allowing flexible fit-outs particularly between floors with soft spots for connecting stairs and spaces.
R7 pushes may represent the next generation of workspace, and is already attracting businesses from the more established, financial districts of London.
Internal area 22,295 m²
Contractor Kier Construction
Structural Engineers AKT2
Environmental / M&E Engineers Sweco
Quantity Surveyor / Cost Consultant Faithful + Gould
Project Management Faithful + Gould
Acoustic Engineers Sandy Brown
Access Consultant All Clear Design
Landscape Architects Tom Stuart-Smith Ltd
Lighting Design 18 Degrees
Fire Consultant The Fire Surgery