Q1, a three-storey commercial office space designed by Coffey Architects for King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership (KCCLP), has started on site on the corner of York Way and Handyside Street. Q1 is one of the final buildings along the northern side of Handyside Street to be taken on site, completing this part of the regeneration programme.
The bold design of Q1 embraces its prominent corner site and south-facing light with a distinct form, massing and façade. Importantly, the building responds to the Network Rail Gasworks Tunnels, which run approximately 1m below the site. The tunnels inform the building’s structure and appearance, with the placement of the internal columns, the direction of the rooflines and the façade materials used, for example.
The surrounding townscape has further influenced the design, with the use and rhythm of aluminium and glazed panels and a striking silhouette that includes a skewed, pitched roof – a nod to the historic warehouse and train sheds of the area. The naturally anodised, aluminium perforated and embossed façade enlivens Q1 inside and out, offering a rich dynamic “checkerboard” aesthetic. This façade was employed following rigorous testing, as it is lightweight and visually porous, tracking playful, dappled light in and across the building during the day. At night, warm, interior lighting projects outward onto the public realm on Handyside Street and York Way.
Q1’s light industrial interior office spaces are exceptional as well. The mechanical displacement ventilation system on first and second floor creates large clean working environments with exposed ceilings at ground and level 01, as well as a unique 6.8m high vaulted ceiling at second floor level. The large flexible open-plan office floorplates will appeal to a wide range of occupiers seeking a base within the vibrant, appealing and well-connected, creative work/life community at King’s Cross. With a total 38,325 sqft NIA, it will be Coffey Architects’ largest UK workplace project to date.
The building is targeting a BREEAM Outstanding rating and is expected to complete in summer 2020.
Steve Jones, project director of Coffey Architects, said: “Q1’S start on site is an exciting milestone for the practice and a testament to the success of KCCLP’s brilliant regeneration work in King’s Cross. Argent have been a driven and design-focused client, and we’re glad to be completing this part of the masterplan for them. We’re especially looking forward to seeing our building take shape, as it will be a distinct welcome into the King’s Cross community for residents, employees and visitors arriving by car, train or bike from a northern approach.”