Urbanest, Canal Reach, Kings Cross, London N1C 4BD

Urbanest, Kings Cross Headline Facts:

1,000 reconstructed stone panels, covering 8,000 square meters.

Contractor : Mansells (Balfour Beatty)

Architect : Glenn Howells

The Finer Details :

This 26 storey student accommodation dominates the Kings Cross skyline. Techrete designed, built and installed, 1,000 precast panels covering 8,000 sq m of the facade. The lower levels, in a dark acid etched grey, are complemented by the Portland look-a-like, with two varying depths of a grit blasted finish to the panels at the upper levels.

The installation of the precast took only 34 weeks. The overall construction time was reduced as the installation of the panels (using a telescopic crawler crane) allowed an earlier site start date, whilst the reinforced concrete frame was still under construction. The downgrading of cranage due to the proximity of the Channel Tunnel Railway Line (CTRL) on the northern boundary of the site was an added constraint for the project. A monorail was required for the installation of the panels on the north elevation immediately adjacent to the boundary fence of the CTRL. This was also undertaken whilst the frame was being constructed above.