Tapestry, Argent King’s Cross, London

The developer Argent commissioned Niall McLaughlin Architects to design the first element in their large-scale redevelopment and regeneration of the King’s Cross area as King’s Cross Central. The regeneration project is one of the most ambitious in Europe and seeks to be a showcase of sustainable development.

The building’s program is multi-use, incorporating an energy centre, a multi-use games area, a retail / café / restaurant unit, centralised car parking, open market and affordable apartments. The site sits immediately to the north of St. Pancras International, with its northern boundary running parallel to the new Channel Tunnel Rail Link as it approaches the station.

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The design of building is a product of its orientation and surrounding context. A strong architectural framework allows for subtle variations which respond to the diverse program. The facades are given a sculptural quality through the articulation of deep vertical piers, with horizontal elements spanning between.

The building is dressed in a rich tapestry of ornament. We were interested in the work of Owen Jones and his principles on decoration set out in The Grammar of Ornament. We used these principles to manipulate the geometry across the composition to create a hierarchy of pattern types.