News: Building B2 Kings Cross

19 September 2012

Photographed here is one of the 396 cast iron columns which will form part of a new building currently under construction behind the hoarding. Standing at 6.15m tall this was made here at Hargreaves Foundry and will form part of the hoarding display until ready for construction.

Building B2 is designed by award winning David Chipperfield Architects and will house offices, shops and cafes. The quality of the building’s architecture reflects its prominent position at the gateway to the King’s Cross development. It will be one of six buildings around Pancras Square between the two stations, King’s Cross and St Pancras International.

The eight upper floors will offer 56,415sq ft (net) of office space with a south facing balcony on every floor. On the ground floor, where the columns will form a colonnade around the whole building, there will be a wide range of shops, cafés and restaurants, a reception for the offices above and a new entrance to the King’s Cross and St Pancras International stations and the London Underground.

The cast iron columns

The weave patterned cast iron columns are a response to the heritage of King’s Cross and the use of cast iron for industrial and transport architecture in the Victoria era. As well as responding to the history of the area cast iron is one of the few materials which would allow the intricate weave pattern, designed by the architects, to be created.

The ground floor columns, made with 100% recycled cast iron, range in height from 5m to 6.15m, with a 80cm diameter and each weighs approximately 2.2 tonnes. They will be approximately twice the height of the columns on the upper storeys which will be approximately 3.25m tall.

The columns will all be cast here at Hargreaves Foundry, in Halifax, which was established in 1881. We are probably the only foundry left in the UK which could produce the size of these castings in the volume required. It can take up to three days to make each column in a highly skilled process involving up to 12 professional iron founders.

Building B2’s environmental features

As with all the office buildings at King’s Cross, the very latest design and technology will reduce running costs of the building for the occupiers and minimize its environmental impact.

The building will meet the BREEAM standard ‘Outstanding’ and will be linked to the site-wide efficient district heating network. This network will provide 100% of the development’s heating and hot water needs.

The target completion date for Building B2 is late 2013.

Hargreaves recently appeared on Look North discussing this project: Hargreaves Foundry Look North News.