The Challenge:

The occupier, London Borough Camden Council wanted an exemplary building to demonstrate how mixed uses and the highest standards of sustainability (which they insist upon as a planning authority) could be met in their own project. Commissioned during the recession, the project was under intense public scrutiny to ensure rigorous cost control.

Our brief required a major leisure centre (including two swimming pools), a library, café and highly visible service centre to provide information and services to Camden residents. Above the public floors we were challenged to provide 10 storeys of office space for Camden staff. This had to meet ambitious objectives for culture change, providing a range of workplace types that foster better communication and team spirit.

To complicate matters, the 5 Pancras Square site is restricted on all sides and neighbours the busy St Pancras international station, resulting in a meticulous approach to construction, planning and approval.

The Solution:

We worked closely with the end user, our client and stakeholders such as Network Rail, to ensure safe construction of this unusual and complex mixed-use office

The final building displays technical excellence; the public and private spaces of the building are separated by a bold transfer structure at second floor level with the upper floors provide flexible office accommodation. Offsite manufacture was used for the M&E services, trench heating and the hybrid unitised façade.

The building is made using sustainably sourced materials, with little site waste. It is future-proofed, offering flexible floor space, intelligent low-energy servicing solutions and good natural lighting levels.

Throughout build we gave many of Camden Council’s staff a sense of the building, hosting tours and creating a sample office for testing of fixtures and fittings. This gave them an understanding of the new building, and the ways of working it would promote, easing along the organisational change journey.

The Impact:

The result is one of the most sustainable buildings in the country that has improved the Council’s working practices and delivered a vibrant new hub for Camden residents.

By bringing the majority of Camden Council’s office-based staff to one site, Five Pancras Square enables the Council to deliver better, more efficient public services and achieve important cost savings. Through selling old inefficient offices and moving to the new site, the Council will cut carbon emissions by an estimated 64% and reduce annual energy costs by over £500,000.

The project also left its mark within construction, with wide industry recognition received. 5 Pancras Square has won over 20 awards, including the Prime Minister’s Better Public Building, Construction Manager of the Year Gold Medal for Project Manager James Carpenter as well as recognition from BREEAM, CIBSE, Considerate Constructors, BCI, Construction News and the Building Awards.

" It is great to see a building that not only shows an absolute commitment to creating a superb space for people to work, take exercise, have fun and relax in, but also one that takes account of the environment and broader aspects of sustainability. An excellent example to others of what can be achieved through the use of BREEAM with a well-informed client and design team. "
Martin Townsend Director of BREEAM BRE

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