Revisiting King’s Cross R5


Saxon Court, Roseberry Mansions and Fenman House were designed in 2008 and completed in 2013. Over the last decade the transformation of King’s Cross has paved the way for a new destination in London and is now recognised as one of the world’s exemplar mixed-use redevelopments.

Associate Director, Prisca Thielmann ‘There was little context for our buildings to relate to back in 2008, particularly at the intended scale, other than an abstract masterplan. and this meant we had to draw our architectural vision from a building which could have stood there before. a King’s Cross warehouse crossed with the civic-ness of a Chicago building of the late 19th century.

The three main buildings address four very different environments: a large park to the west, a small garden square to the south and York Way, a main road, to the north. To the east is a quiet neighbourhood road where we adjusted the scale of the design to place a small two-storey building, rather like a house, almost a memory of what might have been on the site before redevelopment.

The exterior facades rest on deep pink concrete frames and are a layered pattern of windows surrounded by vertical brick pilasters, horizontal concrete banding and basket weave glazed brick spandrel panels. The inner facades are lighter and flatter with balconies projecting into a garden courtyard. Gardens for residents are placed on roof terraces and within the courtyard. A colonnade around the courtyard mediates the height of the buildings with the scale of the garden.

The buildings have 240 apartments of different tenures and Roseberry Mansions provides assisted living and extra care. Restaurants, offices and cafés occupy the ground floors to help animate all corners of the block.