King’s Cross neighbourhood in London has undergone quite the design makeover, becoming a centre for smart and sustainable design.
Although home to major railway stations which connect London to destinations including the north of England, Scotland and continental Europe, the King’s Cross neighbourhood has not always been considered an upscale area. Yet thanks to a design makeover, this area is now a prime stop for shopping, dining and traveling.
With companies like Google expected to open a bureau there soon, it’s little wonder that the new King’s Cross does indeed reign as a site of sustainable, truly trend-setting design.
The King’s Cross Sports Hall is a building comprised of timber and placed three meters above the tunnels of the Thameslink rail line. BAM completed building on the site last week.
Designed as a team effort of Bennetts Associates and Arup, the structure is comprised of a cross laminated timber frame and laminated glue (glulam), and timber columns.
Aside from being sustainable, lighter materials are essential to this project, especially given the sports hall’s closeness to Victorian-era brick tunnels.
The zinc-clad structure also features a light concrete substructure that runs perpendicular to the tunnels to prevent the occurrence of concentrated loads.
The building’s upper storey will function as a gym, while the lower currently serves as a construction skills center before opening for public access. And it will be connected to the King’s Cross Central district heating and cooling network, generating electricity with dual gas-powered engines, with the heat harnessed and redeployed to warm buildings and provide hot water.
The overall aim of the project was to broaden the creative possibilities of timber and concrete building, putting a classic material to new and creative use.
Other timber-based design innovations include Norway’s 85.4-meter tall Mjøstårnet in Norway, built from a melding of glulam and cross-laminated timber. And Australian technology firm Atlassian has announced plans to construct the world’s tallest hybrid timber building.
Looming about 40 storeys in height, this building was devised by SHoP, a New York architectural firm, and BVN of Australia. The structure will consist of timber and a glass and steel façade, solar panels, and self-shading capabilities, along with an outdoor garden.