This sensitive refurbishment delivers 20,471 sqft of unique, contemporary offices across five floors in King’s Cross. Our aim was to reinvent the building without destroying its character. Our aesthetic for the new Fjord Building is inspired by its existing industrial heritage and its local history. Close to the canal basin, the area was once the hub of the Norwegian timber and ice trade and we have embraced the simple, pared-back principles of Scandinavian design. We wanted to reveal the structure of the building, which had never been designed to be seen, to provide generous, flexible spaces with great views out on both sides. Ceiling heights have been opened up and services exposed, with existing concrete and steel columns sandblasted to showcase their industrial charm. As a practice, we look at how design contributes to physical and mental wellbeing in this workplace and how the use of space in combination with the right amount of light and carefully chosen materials can help create the perfect scenery for work and creativity to blossom in. We know that a strong sense of coherence in our environment is linked to better mental health through the impact it has on how we navigate through buildings. This positive feedback loop is fed by designing internal and external environments that remain comprehensible and manageable while providing moments of joy and surprise. Whitewashed walls, feature lighting, and natural ventilation help create the perfect backdrop for work and creativity. A welcoming reception provides a collaborative space that can be used as a lounge or for co-working. Full-height glazed entrance doors and screens bring in a wealth of natural daylight and a feature stair provides direct connection between the ground floor reception, lower ground and first floor floors. A new timber entrance canopy combines with soft landscaping and improved signage to create a more distinctive and welcoming presence on New Wharf Road. By exposing the existing ceiling and structure, we create more airy, open space and bring back the industrial charm of the building. The resulting space is generous and flexible with great views, allowing the building to adapt to today’s needs while celebrating its rich history. Material choices are of paramount importance in the role they play in how we perceive space around us. Carefully curated materials encourage engagement through our various senses and the opportunity for an immersive experience. A neutral palette with light grey polished concrete and plaster, whitewashed ash, natural oak, and birch panelling are chosen for their delicate texture and soft grain. Pale colours reflect and illuminate, maximising the amount of light available while warm textile accents and soft furnishings create an inviting ambience.
At Ben Adams Architects we create buildings that both inspire and delight across a variety of sectors ranging from £1 million to £400 million.
Our practice was founded in 2010 and quickly established a reputation for delivering high quality, flexible buildings that support our clients’ ambitions.
Our work demonstrates architectural and commercial consistency, yet our projects are individually distinctive and the result of bespoke thinking rather than formulaic solutions.
We combine a rational process of design driven by brief, costs and contextual analysis. A strong instinct for the ‘right’ design response, cumulatively developed on each and every project, is essential in creating buildings that both inspire and delight.
We want our buildings to contribute to the creation of sustainable neighbourhoods, providing homes which respond to a variety of needs and agendas with ingenious and vibrant space making and sculpting of light.