French architecture firm Wilmotte & Associés has recently completed an the gorgeously-green building at 6 Pancras Square in Central London. Part of the mixed-use development in the southern part of King’s Cross Central, the development achieved BREEAM Excellent due to its clever use of motion sensor lighting and heat gain reduction, both achieved in the office spaces via the quality of the glass, and the depth of both the terracotta and the metal fins. The building's design is a tribute to the area's industrial past, all while integrating modern sustainability.
Located close to Saint-Pancras station, the building is currently under construction and is due to be completed later this year. The building’s interface to the masterplan was conceived through a collaboration with additional architects and local planning offices. Re-interpreting the typical local load-bearing masonry and the area’s industrial heritage, the architects designed the curtain-wall facades with interwoven metal frames and terracotta infills. According to the architects, “The simple and tectonic approach to the framework draws on the language of Victorian industrial architecture to reflect the history of the former railway yard.”
The 49,000-square-meter office building is clad in black anodized aluminium and terracotta panels. According to the architects, “the terracotta panels on the building’s exterior were handed assembled off-site and then brought to site in panels. There were a total of 55,000 individual tiles commissioned with rigorous quality checks both of the individual tiles and of the panels to ensure consistency on a large scale. Wilmotte & Associés wanted some variation in the fluted texture tile to add a natural element and selected a range of colors in a spectrum that worked well together.”
The sustainability strategy was an integral part of the concept development from the inception. The building incorporates passive design features, highly efficient building services, energy-efficient lighting, heat gain reduction mechanisms and a low carbon energy supply. Search-giant Google was so impressed with the building that they are leasing the entire thing to act as their London headquarters.