Google reveals BIG and Heatherwick's leisure-filled design for King's Cross HQ
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Google reveals BIG and Heatherwick's leisure-filled design for King's Cross HQ

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The new building is rooted in the local character of the area, taking advantage of the contextually defined building envelope

Google has today (1 June) submitted an application for planning permission to Camden Council for its proposed King’s Cross HQ and revealed brand new images showcasing the design of the scheme by Heatherwick Studio and Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG).

Leisure lies at the heart of the dramatic ‘landscraper’ proposal, which 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.

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.

In total, the complex will house more than 1 million square feet (92,000sq m), of which Google will occupy 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, BIG founder Bjarke Ingels 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.

“By opening up the ground floor and activating the roofscape, the light and airy workspaces are sandwiched between the terraced gardens on the roof – and market halls, auditoria and shops on the ground.”

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.

Commenting on the bold future for the area, the designer said: “As my home and the home of my studio for more than 15 years, I have a close relationship with King’s Cross. The area is a fascinating collision of diverse building types and spaces and I can’t help but love this mix of massive railway stations, roads, canals and other infrastructure all layered up into the most connected point in London.”

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Google has today (1 June) submitted an application for planning permission to Camden Council for its proposed King’s Cross HQ and revealed brand new images showcasing the design of the scheme by Heatherwick Studio and Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG).
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