The Challenge:

As one of the first buildings on the North of the King’s Cross development R7 had to stand out. The challenge was to deliver striking architecture, high quality offices alongside a ground floor open to the public.

The building had to be capable of housing forty commercial tenants, whilst delivery was complicated due to the confined development site and the nearby Piccadilly line.

The Solution:

The building’s ziggurat shape, stepping at each floor, and location demanded an elegant solution that could still deliver signature architecture. We eliminated the need for scaffolding by prefabricating the building’s unique façade almost entirely offsite. The light rose and deep copper cladding was delivered in fully glazed unitised panels; a construction technique that is efficient, safe and fast to install.

To allow for so many potential tenants, the structure, services, staircases and toilet access have all been designed so that each floor can be split into four distinct offices. To give even more option, soft spots (removable, lightweight steel and timber panels) enable internal staircases to be added between floors, giving tenants the option of expanding upwards as their business flourishes.

By value, offsite technology accounts for a quarter of the project’s build cost. The façade was made entirely offsite, which resulted in a more efficient, safe and speedy construction process. It provides the same performance as a traditional clad building but was installed with a greater degree of accuracy, quicker and using 40% fewer staff. Other offsite elements included precast concrete columns, MEPH elements included chilled beams and rooftop plant rooms, as well as 96 bathroom pods, which were cost-effective and efficient to install.

The Impact:

R7 feels very different to many other London offices and offers truly unique features for a commercial building.

The spacious, seven-metre ground floor gives unguarded public access, effectively an indoor street that connects the north and south of the King’s Cross site. The vibrant ground floor houses a large, seven-metre high entrance lobby where visitors can access a three-screen cinema and retail and restaurant space.

With several award wins, the building is gathering national attention – for both architecture and construction. R7 is already RIBA National Award 2018 winner and has been shortlisted as both ‘Project of the Year’ ‘Commercial Project of the Year’ and our approach to ‘Health, Safety and Wellbeing’ during construction.

Innovation meets R7
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" The end product is fantastic, a really unique office building that provides something different to anything else on the King’s Cross Estate to date, or anywhere in the UK…The fact that it was fully let when the building was barely out of the ground is testament to that. "
Sam Williams Project Manager Argent

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