Caruso St John Architects

2003
Location: London, GB
Client: Argent
Project Status: Study

This office building is located on a prominent site, addressing a new square planned for the area between King’s Cross and St Pancras stations, which became the location for the new European train terminal in 2007. The building will be at the end of a terrace of individual office buildings along the western side of King’s Cross station, which forms part of an overall masterplan for the urbanisation of the former railway land. The main long façade will be seen at oblique angles along a new boulevard, and the end facade will be seen frontally, and from a distance, within the context of robust railway infrastructures. The simple profile of this building is a response to this bold, open urbanism.

The appearance of the building refers to many of the architect's favourite office facades, like Berlage’s Holland House in London, Sullivan’s Wainwright and Guaranty building in Buffalo, where the elevations are organised according to a tight vertical grain of facade elements with a surface of fine decoration. In this case the fine vertical grain will give the western façade a material solidity along the boulevard, while at the same time providing the extensive glazing required by the deep office space within. The facades are constructed from pre-cast concrete elements, with an impressed decoration and an integral colour scheme through the use of natural sands and aggregates, with green porphyry for the body of the building and black basalt for the base.