Google goes back to the drawing board on King's Cross

Rhiannon Bury

Google has decided to shelve its current plans at King’s Cross to come up with an even more ambitious design for its London headquarters, Property Week can reveal.

The web giant has tasked its project team to draw up a new design for the building within the original 750,000 sq ft office floor plan in an attempt to push the boundaries of office design.

A decision to overhaul the project is thought to have been made within the last week. As a result of the change in plans, the building’s completion date is thought to have been moved back from 2016 to 2017.

Architects Allford Hall Monaghan Morris and developer Argent are still on board to create plans which better fit the needs of the local community, according to sources, with Google saying it remains committed to the project in the long term.

AHMM took two years to design the original plans, which were revealed in June and featured a roof-top running track and swimming pool. They were given planning permission by Camden Council in September.

At 330 metres long, the scheme will be a “groundscraper” that would be the length of the Shard if stood on its end — longer than Google’s 220 metre New York headquarters.

Sources close to the design team speculated that the building’s fit-out alone could cost £850/ sq ft.

The deal to develop the building amounted to one of the biggest occupier transactions in more than 10 years in additions to an investment and development deal of more than £650m.

Joe Borrett, head of real estate and construction at Google, said: “We have a great plan for the new building at Kings Cross, but we want to challenge ourselves to do something even better for Google, King’s Cross and for the local community.”

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