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Is Google's leisure-filled £1bn London HQ set for approval?

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Google’s proposed £1bn London HQ at King’s Cross, designed by the studios of Bjarke Ingels and Thomas Heatherwick, looks set to be recommended for approval by the local council.

According to Construction News, the tech giant’s proposal has convinced planning officers at Camden Council ahead of a formal committee decision next week.

Leisure lies at the heart of the dramatic ‘landscraper’ proposal, revealed in June. It features a vast rooftop garden across multiple storeys; a sports hall; a 200m-long running track for employees; a promenade looking out towards the station; and a wellness centre containing gyms and massage rooms and a swimming pool.

In total, the complex will house more than 1 million square feet (92,000sq m), of which Google will occupy at least 650,000sq ft. It will run in parallel to a number of platforms at the station, dominating the landscape as trains pull into King’s Cross.

Explaining the design for the project, Ingels has previously said: “The new building is rooted in the local character of the area, taking advantage of the contextually defined building envelope while creating continuously cascading work environments that will connect Googlers across multiple floors.”

The council’s planning report comments that these “gentle varieties and rigorous repetitions in the façade mitigate the intervention of this large new form into the townscape and wider context.”

Construction of the purpose-built 11-storey building – the first wholly owned and designed Google building outside the US – is set to begin next year if the green light is approved. The main contractor is Lendlease and executive architects BDP and landscape designers Gillespies are also on the team.

A Google Campus – formed of the new building alongside Wilmotte & Associés’ recently-completed 6 Pancras Square and a forthcoming 11-storey office designed by Mossessian Architecture – could one day house as many as 7,000 company employees.

Google’s King’s Cross project a centrepiece of the wider regeneration taking place in the area, which includes the new German Gymnasium restaurant by Conran and Partners and a forthcoming plaza, also designed by Heatherwick, integrated around two Victorian coal drop buildings.

Both Ingels and Heatherwick Studio are also working on Google’s HQ in Mountain View, California.

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Google’s proposed £1bn London HQ at King’s Cross, designed by the studios of Bjarke Ingels and Thomas Heatherwick, has been reen recommended for approval by the local council.
CLD,PRO,ARC,DES,DEV,INV
In total, the complex will house more than 1 million square feet (92,000sq m), of which Google will occupy 650,000sq ft
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