Building Study: 22 Handyside Street, King’s Cross, by Coffey Architects

Coffey Architects_22 Handyside Street_©Tim Soar_101120 (2)

The YAYA winner’s shimmering King’s Cross office more than justifies the developer’s decision to put its faith in emerging talent, writes Elizabeth Hopkirk

Argent’s 30-hectare King’s Cross development in central London is a compendium of fashionable architects, a reference book in built form. They have got a Chipperfield, a Heatherwick and a Maki, plus a Brooks in gestation. Into that starry anthology, the fruit of Allies and Morrison’s now 20-year-old masterplan, a few younger practices have been invited to pitch. 

One of the last schemes to be completed is Coffey Architects’ shimmering 22 Handyside Street, an £18m three-storey office building that stands at the very eastern edge of the estate where it rubs up against York Way, that still-grimy artery leading north through railway badlands from King’s Cross station towards Islington. 

Every architect handed a plot on this post-industrial tabula rasa faces the same dilemma. For King’s Cross to achieve its ambition of becoming a piece of the city, some of the buildings must blend quietly into their surroundings. “But, please God, not mine.”

This is premium content. 

Only logged in subscribers have access to it.

Login or SUBSCRIBE to view this story

Gated access promo

Existing subscriber? LOGIN

A subscription to Building Design will provide:

  • Unlimited architecture news from around the UK
  • Reviews of the latest buildings from all corners of the world
  • Full access to all our online archives
  • PLUS you will receive a digital copy of WA100 worth over £45.

Subscribe now for unlimited access.

Alternatively REGISTER for free access on selected stories and sign up for email alerts