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Author King’s Cross

Author King’s Cross

  • Status
  • Completed September 2023
  • Client
  • Related Argent
  • Value
  • Confidential
  • Procurement Method
  • Design and Build
  • Services
  • Master Planner and Lead Consultant
  • Scale
  • 21,813m²

Author is a mixed-use development that provides commercial, amenity spaces and Build-to-Rent (BTR) accommodation arranged around a new London Square – a unique destination to the northernmost plot of the King’s Cross Masterplan. David Morley Architects (DMA) are the masterplan architects and lead design architects for the scheme and the detail architects for Darley building on York Way.

 

  • Status
  • Completed September 2023
  • Client
  • Related Argent
  • Value
  • Confidential
  • Procurement Method
  • Design and Build
  • Services
  • Master Planner and Lead Consultant
  • Scale
  • 21,813m²

DMA oversaw the concept, unifying design code and planning submissions, with detailed planning consent determined by both Camden and Islington Borough Councils in 2016. The masterplan comprises three buildings ranging in height between 3 and 16 storeys, arranged around a new public square and community garden which perfectly frames the concept with which the buildings have been designed: a new London Square; a new destination at the edge of the King’s Cross Central Development; a place to live; and a place to visit.

The development features 218 rental homes across the three blocks, and a mix of compelling amenities such as a residential fitness centre, screening room, dining area, retail, and a crèche. Each building has its own identity and is thoughtfully designed to interact with the street and the garden. The character is predominantly brick clad in dark hues which echoes the sooty brick colour of some of London’s great residential squares and relates to the surrounding railway infrastructure.

Author occupies a challenging urban site characterised by its industrial and railway character, bounded by road and rail with underground rail tunnels. The site’s change of level discretely locates a part basement level that provides an opportunity to accommodate parking and servicing uses in an imaginative way while maintaining an active street frontage onto York Way.

DMA collaborated with other leading architects and interior designers including: Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, Haptic, Fabrik and Conran and Partners and led a team of design consultants including Ramboll and Hoare Lea. The original 2016 planning consent focused on residential for sale offering, which in response to market demand was redesigned to a BTR concept in 2019.

The new 'London Square' green community space

“DMA have a long history with Author King’s Cross, starting as masterplanner then moving into the design and delivery stages of Darley. They have made a long-term commitment to the project and to the wider Argent/ Related Argent business, which reflects their wider ethos and the way they work with their clients. The finished product at Author is excellent and has been really well received by the market.”

Jamie Smith, Development Director, Related Argent

Ground floor commercial area

Darley is an 8-storey residential building with 3 retail units on the ground floor providing 78 apartments across a mix of social rented and BTR intermediate apartments, housing one, two, and three-bedroom apartments. This building forms an important edge defining the streetscape along York Way. The street façade has been articulated in both plan and section to respond to the sweeping alignment and level changes creating an animated street frontage of dual aspect retail units, a café, residential entrances and openings through to the new London square in the heart of the scheme.

Entering the building towards the Northern façade leads you to the Novella social rented apartments, where the projecting balconies provide variation and interest. The building overhang provides a canopy to the retail frontage, and the shop frontages continue onto the soffit of the overhang to provide a unified finish to street level.

The southern façade of Darley forms an important focal point when approached from King’s Cross station to the south. The double height café on the ground floor is triple aspect allowing animation to the sunny south, garden and street, welcoming visitors into the new London square. A stepped southern façade gives a soft feathered edge, extending the invitation into the central garden. The upper levels’ generous windows and metal clad balconies have splendid views of the central London skyline.

Aerial view

David Morley Architects have had a long involvement in Kings Cross working for Related Argent and King’s Cross Limited Partnership with The Construction Skills Centre, The Plimsoll Building – comprising private apartments and two schools, and The Coal Office – a ‘creative centre’ for Tom Dixon at Granary Square, completed in 2015.

Apartment view

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