Argent Kings' Cross design Charette
HOWE, MICHAEL (2008) Argent Kings' Cross design Charette Architects' Journal, 228 (1). pp. 52-53. ISSN 0003-8466
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mæ architects were selected to work with property developer Argent, the Architects’ Journal and London Borough of Camden, to develop ideas for a 9 hectare site north of King’s Cross. The site sits west of Argent’s landmark King’s Cross Central development and within the Somers Town Neighbourhood Renewal Area, a neighbourhood long affected by insecurity about its future. However, with the Argent development being rolled out in time for the 2012 London Olympics, the area’s prospects are changing significantly. The Council wishes to retain the industrial usage of the site while enhancing public spaces, connectivity and the canal’s leisure potential. With this in mind, mæ prepared a mini masterplan for the site, keeping the canal as the central focus. mæ’s response is a new piece of city defined by its context. The grid offers continuity with the surrounding landscape, yet allows a range of typologies, some new, some familiar. Fine-grained courtyard houses and chequerboard pavilions inhabit the grid alongside linear blocks, perimeter blocks and more monolithic forms: different species of space within a common ordering structure. The junction of two grids is a place for incident and architectural intrigue. Here we propose parks and leisure, focused around the canal and mediating the topography of the site. A common datum is set for the roofline, though the fall in levels allows for heights of buildings to change. Location King’s Cross, London Date June 2008 Client Argent, London Borough of Camden, Architects’ Journal Magazine
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