A project that transformed a Victorian building at London’s King’s Cross Station into a contemporary workspace for 300 people has now received industry recognition with a SBID International Design Award nomination in the Office Design category.
Occupied by finance provider NewDay, the office accommodation features a number of innovative features that blend the stunning original architecture with modern workspace requirements. Led by design and build company Oktra, the new space is a mix of fixed workstations, open-plan desking and meeting pods over an expansive café area. The flexibility of the space means employees can choose how and where they want to work.
To find out more about the project and its immediate success, Premier Construction spoke to Oktra Senior Designer David Bishop:
“The brief we were given was very loose. They wanted 300 workstations and a series of meeting rooms but apart from that the brief was really two words – be bold. The timescale was very tight and it was probably one of the loosest briefs we’ve ever had. In this particular instance I think this proved to be a good thing because it provided the opportunity to have a bit of fun.
“With such an iconic building it can be difficult to know where to start. We brainstormed ideas and picked 10 to develop, knowing they all wouldn’t be included. From here we narrowed down the concept and it was really about the people, transitions and architecture.”
In total the project took a little over a year to complete, with construction taking place between January and June of this year. The highlight of the new design is undoubtedly the 60 metre mezzanine suspended over an acoustic floor, as David explained:
“We built a 60 metre long new mezzanine as a completely independent structure floating on an acoustic floor. There’s a 6 metre ceiling height on the first floor so we wanted to maximise the volume and provide an experience of the space from another perspective. The mezzanine provides further accommodation and allows the building to be viewed in another way.
“We couldn’t connect to any structure so we had to do some structural gymnastics by floating the mezzanine over the acoustic floor. There are a number of timber and steel spreaders below the raised floor and the mezzanine pops out of it. To get that approved was a challenge but we worked with a fantastic company called Fluid Structures and gained approval after three months.”
“It’s very exciting to have been shortlisted for this award and it’s actually pretty unheard of in our sector. It proves we can undertake challenging projects from a design and build perspective. It wasn’t just a fit out but a design enhancement. It’s great to get recognition for being able to build this type of structure.”
Fusion Blinds Ltd
Fusion Blinds Ltd specialise in the provision of technical window coverings for the commercial market. Using products from global suppliers, Fusion Blinds Ltd are able to specify, supply and install all styles of manual and motorised blinds, blind automation systems and commercial curtaining to meet the needs and expectations of their clients.
Fusion Blinds Ltd has been in operation since 2009, drawing on a wealth of experience in the industry which dates back to 1985. Fusion’s client base extends across the construction and interior design industry and includes some of the most dynamic and progressive companies in this sector.
Recently, Fusion Blinds Ltd has been involved with Oktra on the NewDay project at London’s King’s Cross Station, consolidating the control of all the existing motorised blinds at the site. As an accredited supplier of Somfy motorisation products Fusion Blinds Ltd supplied their new innovative TaHoma cloud based control system to the project, enabling control of blinds across the site with the ease of an online/app based platform.
Jamie Bartram, Fusion Blinds Ltd, said:
“Our ongoing relationship with Oktra has been forged over a long period, so to be able to meet the specific requirement of NewDay and deliver a product and service that reflects well on our client’s behalf is a very important part of our company ethos.”
“At Fusion Blinds Ltd we pride ourselves on our personal and knowledgeable service that can be relied upon at every stage of a project from design through to installation.”