2 Pancras Square, Kings Cross, London N1C 4AG
2 Pancras Square Headline Facts:
427 reconstructed stone panels, covering 5,907 units.
Contractor : BAM
Architect : Allies & Morrison
The Finer Details :
This 11 storey, 130,000 sq ft office building was designed by Allies & Morrison. The design of the architectural precast cladding gives it an interesting rhythm. As the building rises, the precast mullion sections reduce in width but deepen in depth. This was achieved by specially designed adaptable moulds. The curtain walling / glazing was prefixed to the frame, above level 2, in advance of the cladding. A delicate installation operation ensued and the fixing system had to be adjusted to the depth of the reveals. In order to increase the speed of erection, reduce cost and improve general efficiency, some of the panels were 2 storey high “F” panels. This allowed for a rapid rate of enclosure to be achieved.
The immediate impression of this building is of mullions and spandrels but a keen eye can see upon closer inspection that the mullions actually decrease in width towards the top of the building and the windows at these levels are set back further to create deeper reveals and create greater solar shading. The key to the manufacture of this was mould adaptability. To ensure minimal staining from rainwater on the face of the building, the spandrels were designed to guide the water towards a vertical drainage system in the mullions, which keeps the water off the face of the building.
The concrete mix contains some Spanish Dolomite aggregate which adds a sparkle to the façade. The uppermost level has an unusual feature of a winter garden. This comprises of 3 storey high colonnades with free standing cantilever structures. This is a very uncommon feature and structural modelling was utilised in the design process. Due to the size of the panels, some challenges were encountered during the installation process. Prior to installation these panels (10m in length) had to be rotated with the use of the tower crane and then hoisted into position.