King’s Cross is changing. That much is clear if you walked past the vast 67 acre development site which sits between the two major stations – St Pancras International and King’s Cross, in central London.
In September the estate will officially open when 4,500 staff and students from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, (part of the University of the Arts London) move in to the Granary Complex, in the heart of the site.
At the recent pre-launch event, on-site photography and digital animation offered a glimpse of what the University of the Arts London and architects Stanton Williams hope will become the first truly 21st century art school. Exposed old brick sits alongside new structures, as much of the site is based on retained railways transit sheds and a vast granary store dating from the 1850s. The impressive design means that there will be plenty of light and space in which to work. Alongside a 12m-wide ‘street’ running down the middle of the site, the new development will include a theatre and performance spaces; a dance studio; exhibition spaces and workshops; the potential for temporary pop-up spaces; even viewing areas where students can watch each other working.
By virtue of maintaining a visual link with the area’s industrial past, the building already has, asRoger Madelin, joint chief executive of Argent, the asset and development manager for King’s Cross, pointed out at the event, “a heart and soul.”
As well as education the multi-million pound redevelopment of Kings Cross will deliver on a number of other fronts – with up to 2,000 new homes and 3.4m sq ft net of office space and 500,000sq ft of retail space – over the next few years.
There will be 20 new streets, 10 major public spaces and 20 historic buildings and structures are to be restored and refurbished across the 8 million sq ft site – the largest site in single ownership to be masterplanned and developed in central London in over 150 years.
Work has also already started on site on the first affordable homes, which will be owned and managed by One Housing Group and will be ready for occupation next year. And detailed plans for the first ‘open market’ homes were given the go-ahead by Camden Council a few months ago.
Other notable milestones which will be achieved in the next few years is a 657-bedroom landmark student housing scheme delivered by Urbanest UK which will be complete by September 2013, Camden Council’s plan to move into a new office building at King’s Cross in 2014 and BNP Paribas Real Estate occupying a new 340,000sq ft office building by 2015.
Around King’s Cross, over £2bn has been invested in the transport infrastructure alone, with the latest investment, a new concourse for King’s Cross station, opening next year.
In total the King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership is investing over £150m in the infrastructure. This includesGranary Square– one of the largest public squares inLondon; an energy centre and district heating grid, new streets and public spaces and three new bridges across the Regent’s Canal.
One of the 20 new roads includes ‘The Boulevard’, the first major street to be built inLondonin over 100 years, which will also open this September.
King’s Cross is being developed by the King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership, which consists of Argent King’s Cross Limited Partnership backed by Argent Group PLC,Londonand Continental Railways Limited, and DHL Supply Chain.
The whole King’s Cross development looks set to create a completely new piece of the city with a brand new postcode to match – London N1C.
For more information visit www.kingscrosscentral.com
“The new building gives teachers state-of-the-art facilities to help children learn and achieve.
“When the scheme is finished, Heston will have school buildings to be proud of.”
Governors, staff and local residents were involved in the consultation for the design of the new building to ensure that it provides the best opportunities for pupils in the future.
The next phase of the work will see the demolition of the existing junior school building to create an external learning and play environment incorporating a Multi Use Games Area. In conjunction with this, the existing infant school will be remodelled as the permanent kitchen and dining facility for the Community school.
All the works have been carried out with the school in use.
The works commenced in November 2008 and are due to be completed at the end of 2011.
The Apollo Group is one of the largest providers of property services in the UK, operating for both public and private clients within the housing, education and the public and commercial sectors.
Apollo’s projects range from major social housing regeneration schemes through to the delivery of fast track school improvement works and the construction of new educational facilities, as well as facilities for health and leisure and the emergency services.
The business employs 890 people and its annual turnover level is approaching £300 million.