Four firms in running to land King’s Cross deal

Google HQ Kings Cross aerial


Lendlease, Mace, Multiplex and Sir Robert McAlpine are the four contractors in the running to build Google’s new headquarters in King’s Cross, Building understands.

The internet giant announced yesterday that it was committed to developing the site located just behind the north London railway and tube station. It will be the first wholly owned and designed Google building outside of the US.

The new building, which has been designed by US-Danish architect BIG and Thomas Heatherwick, the man behind the delayed Garden Bridge in central London which is due to be built by Bouygues, will rise 10-storeys and create 650,000 sq ft of office space. The pair are also behind a new global headquarters for the tech giant at its home at Mountain View in California. Detailed design on King’s Cross will be carried out by BDP.

Google purchased the 2.4 acre site at the 67-acre development from the King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership (KCCLP) in 2013.

The firm also has another two buildings at Kings Cross, including 380,000 sq ft at 6 Pancras Square, and will eventually be able to house 7,000 people across the three buildings totalling 1 million sq ft.

Google said construction on the second building situated further back on the Kings Cross site being developed by Argent, which the firm is leasing, began earlier this year and is due to be completed by Carillion in 2018.


Google HQ Kings Cross internal


Google chief executive Sundar Pichai said: “Here in the UK, it’s clear to me that computer science has a great future with the talent, educational institutions, and passion for innovation we see all around us. We are committed to the UK and excited to continue our investment in our new King’s Cross campus.”

The new design by BIG and Heatherwick replaces an earlier one drawn up by AHMM. Last year’s Stirling Prize winner was appointed to the King’s Cross project four years ago but the scheme was hit by a series of delays as Google decided to redraw its plans. This scheme was originally due to have been built by BAM.

Back in 2013, Google asked AHMM to overhaul the 330m long groundscraper, which under AHMM’s plans covered 85,000sq m across 11 storeys, just weeks after it was given the green light by Camden planners.

AHMM is working on the 6 Pancras Square scheme which involves turning the former offices of French bank BNP Paribas into new office space for Google.