Webb Yates Engineers
The Office Group
King's Cross, London, United Kingdom
The existing building, constructed in around 1981, was one of the earliest office blocks in the area but was not in use due to the deterioration of the façade and dimly lit, poorly ventilated internal spaces.
A new five-storey front extension has been created. The extension was constructed from cross laminated timber panels, spanning 8m from the existing building to a glulam frame and glazed on three sides to create a modern, open space. A new lightwell was added at the front of the building, to make the existing basement also usable as office space.
External materials were chosen based on a careful analysis of the existing building and the neighbouring context. A structurally self-supporting perforated brick lattice was employed for the facade, set on a 45-degree angle to give it stiffness. This arrangement is visually striking and economical, reducing the need for additional supports and using half of the bricks of a traditional facade.
The judges admire the beautiful marriage of overlapped and layered materials and the multi-purposefulness of each material working in unison.