Kings Gate SW1
Kings Gate forms a pair of buildings on Victoria Street in Westminster, with its neighbour The Zig Zag Building. The scheme replaces an existing slab-like office building on Victoria Street in central London with two new buildings that incorporate a mix of retail, office space and housing. We won this project in an invited competition in Spring 2010, and gained planning consent in November 2011. The main contractor was Lend Lease and Practical Completion was achieved in Autumn 2015.
Opportunities for pedestrian permeability through the site led to the proposal for porous blocks, which between them form two significant new public spaces and public routes. The design comprises two clearly distinct buildings that express their different internal uses whilst making a harmonious urban ensemble. The Zig-Zag Building (G+12 storeys) provides office space from second floor upwards; and Kings Gate (G+14 storeys) is exclusively residential from second floor upwards, housing 100 apartments ranging from studios to three and four bedroom family flats. The scheme provides an active retail frontage at ground and first floors of both buildings.
Kings Gate is made of Jura limestone and bronze coloured metals. Its south façade, incorporates long terraces and the stone piers, protects the interiors from overheating and also creates a deep threshold; ensuring the inhabitants’ privacy and presenting an orderly and dignified face towards Victoria Street. The rear façade, also limestone, forms a ‘garden elevation’ of metal balconies overlooking the Royal Parks. Projecting, splayed 'butterfly' bay windows on the side elevations funnel daylight the deep into the centre of the plan and offer views south-east over the River Thames, or north-west over the Royal Parks. The two buildings create together a unified part of the city in which landscape, public art and architecture are conceived as a single project. The outer rhythm of stone piers creates an architectural rhythm or armature that is fixed - behind which sits an inner rhythm of inhabitation: one static, the other in flux, both animated by daylight and electric light.