W Zone at King’s Cross given final go ahead

Kings Cross Central Limited Partnership (KCCLP) was today (30 April 2019) given the final go ahead by Islington Council on the W Zone.

The W Zone, located off York Way and Randell’s Road will comprise three mixed use buildings, known as W1, W2 and W3, positioned around a central podium garden. The site masterplan, developed by David Morley Architects, includes a mixture of residential, across a range of tenures, as well as leisure space, plus a managed ecology garden with a focus on education and community engagement, to be known as the Habitat Zone.

Buildings W1 and W2, which together include 218 residential units, have been designed by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios and David Morley Architects. The buildings were granted reserved matters planning approval in June 2016, with small amends recently approved by Islington Council on 5 March 2019. The recent amends to Buildings W1 and W2 were made with the intention of increasing and improving the shared residential facilities within the development, while the number of homes remains the same as the original planning permission.

W3, designed by Haptic Architects is set to be a leisure focussed building, featuring a gym, nursery and café. The three buildings will be accessed from York Way.

Designed by Jan Kattein Architects in close collaboration with educational charity Global Generation, the Habitat Zone is situated to the north of the three buildings and will include four

small, single-storey educational buildings – a community kitchen, a classroom, an admin building and a growing tunnel. Central to the proposal for the Habitat Zone is a 1,097 sq m ecology garden, featuring a wildlife meadow, an orchard, fruit and vegetable planters, and a wildlife maze.

Building W1 is split into two blocks of 11 storeys and 16 storeys respectively, which will comprise 140 open market residential apartments with a single retail unit at street level, fronting York Way. Meanwhile, Building W2 is an eight storey mixed tenure building featuring 36 social rented apartments, 23 intermediate apartments and 19 open market apartments. It will also feature a retail element with three retail units fronting onto York Way.

The approval of Building W3 and the Habitat Zone sees the final part of the plot approved, and will deliver a brand new 1,500sq m building over three storeys. Designed to high environmental standards, it will feature solar panels, a green roof, and be built of sustainable materials using a Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) structure. By using responsibly sourced timber in both the structure and cladding, the design enhances the promotion of well-being that is at the heart of the development, as well as creating a tactile and sustainable building. The facade seeks to elegantly interact with its immediate surroundings, creating spaces that encourage social interactions across different areas in the building.

Speaking about the submission, Jamie Smith, Project Director at KCCLP commented:

“We are thrilled that the entirety of W Zone now has the go ahead and we are excited for works to start on the site next year. More than 10 years on from the start of construction works, we are proud to have finalised the detailed design of one of the final pieces of the King’s Cross puzzle.”

David Morley from David Morley Architects commented:

“This is the only site at King’s Cross straddling the boundary between Camden and Islington and we are delighted that our masterplan for bringing together a new mixed-use community, focussed around a garden, will soon be realised. As well as connecting east to west, the project will transform the streetscape of York Way and create a new gateway to King’s Cross for people arriving from the north.”

George Wilson, Associate from Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios commented:

“King’s Cross W Zone presents a fantastic opportunity to establish a new residential community centred around high quality public space, communal amenities and community facilities, creating a unique place to live within central London. We are delighted that W Zone has been fully approved and can now be realised.”

Timo Haedrich RIBA, Director at Haptic Architects commented:

“We are very proud that this exciting project has been given the go ahead. The building will provide a meaningful community centre, a place for people to learn, exercise and socialise.”

“The openness and transparency of the ground floor; its concertinaing wall, movable screens and integrated seats create a seamless flow between the building and the adjacent public realm. The focus is to achieve the highest degree of sustainability. Timber is used in both the structure and façade, a material which has intrinsic tactile and pleasant qualities, fitting for a community hub.”

Jan Kattein from Jan Kattein Architects commented:

“Proposals for the Habitat Zone were conceived in close collaboration with educational charity Global Generation who operates a number of public gardens across London. The buildings are designed to minimize the threshold between ecology and interior. Urban ecologies are some of the most interesting habitats on our planet and it is fantastic news that our project will be able to bring a little piece of wilderness to people’s doorstep.”

The W Zone is set to complete in 2022, and operators for the Habitat Zone and leisure facilities will be announced in the due course.