Alison Brooks Architects has created a landmark structure in the emerging area of Kings Cross in London, part of its Central Masterplan. The proposed mixed-use urban block containing 158 dwellings will reinforce the neighborhood’s “unique sense of place and celebrate its emerging and historic contexts”.
Emerging as one of the most animated and inclusive places in London, Kings Cross will receive “an equally joyful building”, as projects architects Alison Brooks state. Located strategically to the north of Lewis Cubitt Park, the intervention entitled Cadence puts in place a mixed-use urban block that responds to its concept. Imagined as a “six-sided perimeter block with no back, arranged around an internal courtyard from which taller forms emerge, ranging from four to fifteen stories”, according to the architects, Cadence provides inclusiveness in all directions.
With a concept centered on an arcaded base and top, the project takes inspiration from the arches of Kings Cross & St Pancras stations, reinterpreted “in a contemporary bézier curve form so that the building appears to sit lightly upon its urban landscape”. Placed at key locations, each one of the arches has a unique role defined by its setting. In fact, they form a series of “recognizable destinations when approached from afar, and when reached, they each become a frame for the next”. Generating the first experience the user has with the building, they reveal gradually the structure and the space.
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On another hand, the linear block of different heights produces a frame for adjacent public spaces. At street level, the arcades double in height, leading to a central courtyard with reflecting pool mirrors. Designed in collaboration with landscape architect Todd Longstaffe-Gowan, the project brings back some of the Roman cisterns and Venetian fondamenta atmosphere. Moreover, “around the reflecting pool, restaurants, and bars will benefit from sun shading and the shelter of the arches. Internally, the form of the arches extrudes into the double-height interior ceilings of the reception, retail and office accommodation”. Finally, the towers house the market sale and intermediate units by Pocket Living.
- Architecture Firm: Alison Brooks Architects
- Project location: King’s Cross, London, UK
- Lead Architects: Felix Cruz, Alison Brooks Architects
- Renderings credits: V1 Visualizations
- Civil & SE: Ramboll UK
- MEP / Sustainability: Hoare Lea
- Interiors: Conran and Partners
- Façade: FMDC
- Landscape: TLG & BHSLA
- QS: Faithful & Gould