© Jan Friedlein / AKT II
© Jan Friedlein / AKT II
© Jan Friedlein / AKT II
one-pancras-square-01-©-Valerie Bennett
© Valerie Bennett

One Pancras Square

Situated on a two hectare piece of land – known as Zone B – between King’s Cross and St Pancras stations, One Pancras Square, a nine-storey structure designed by David Chipperfield Architects, is one of six commercial buildings marking the major regeneration of this area in central London. The offices are now occupied by The Office Group and fashion brand Louis Vuitton.

A 9 m-deep basement runs across the entire site, which set the levels and created a consistent footing for the buildings above. The site of a former gasworks, its urban location presented a number of issues below ground, which were overcome as part of an extensive enabling works package. The building also provides a new direct subterranean pedestrian link to King’s Cross underground station.

The building’s dimensions were defined at the planning stages: rectangular in shape, running approximately along the north to south axis. It comprises a single-span flat slab that maximises flexibility for the chilled beam system of cooling; just one of the design elements that contributed towards a BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ rating. The slab soffit is exposed, to reduce materials and utilise thermal mass. At the tender stage both traditional RC and post-tensioned slab options were proposed, with the contractor opting for the latter, reducing depth and further increasing the floor-to-ceiling heights.

Although the structural frame is simple on first inspection, a key interface is with the cast-iron cladding mullion profiles. We pushed the perimeter columns out-board of the slab edge in order to integrate the structure with the cladding, and by doing so increased the net internal floor area and provided a flat internal cladding line, again enhancing the floor plate spatial flexibility. Adopting cast iron as primary structure was explored, but the limited supply chain to manufacture the elements was to affect the usual programme too adversely.

A prominent architectural feature of the building is the terraces at the southern elevation. At ground floor level, in order to minimise the visual impact of the columns, we adopted 200 mm-diameter solid steel billets.

Nine-storey commercial office structure with featured protruding perimeter columns

London, UK
King's Cross Central LP
David Chipperfield Architects
£ 18 million
8,200 m²

  • 2016 Civic Trust Award - Special Award for Sustainability
  • 2015 BREEAM Award
  • 2014 RIBA National Award
  • 2014 RIBA Regional Award
  • 2014 New London Award