Design teams join forces to guide railway lands regeneration
A united vision for King's Cross from a top team of at least 15 British practices will be unveiled next month. The residential and commercial schemes will be submitted as part of the planning application for a huge regeneration of the railway lands to the west of the station.

Residential schemes comprising 1,800 new homes were divided up between Stephenson Bell, Broadway Malyan, Feilden Clegg Bradley, Maccreanor Lavington, AHMM, Bill Dunster, Matthew Priestman, David Morley and Burrell Foley Fisher.

Architects that have worked up schemes for the 464,500sq m of commercial office space include Robert Adam, Caruso St John, Eric Parry, Allies & Morrison and Porphyrius.

The work so far is merely illustrative, to show how the site could look and inform the masterplanning process. But David Partridge, deputy chief executive of Argent, which is developing the site, told BD that it could lead to commissions.

"We want to give people a bit more of a feel for what the spaces might look like when the planning application goes in," said Partridge.

He added that the exercise could lead to further work for the practices when the detailed designs for the huge scheme – expected to start on site in 2007 – are procured later this year.

"That's what happened at Brindleyplace [in Birmingham]," he said. "We had architects do designs before we had outline permission in place, and there was so much interest that we got them back on the telephone and said you are up."

Partridge added that Argent had chosen a mixture of established and up- and-coming practices that it felt were well placed to contribute to the urban debate.

Each practice was given a different plot and briefed by the masterplanners, Allies & Morrison and Demetri Porphyrius. They then all met together to discuss how all the proposals would fit together.

"They also talked about aspects of the design guidelines from the masterplan that they found useful or unhelpful, which will feed our urban design strategy," said Partridge.

Matthew Priestman, who designed a housing project for the site, told BD: "It was interesting presenting in a room in a not particularly competitive environment because everyone had their own sites. We are very hopeful that they will come back to us."