Exclusive: Firm sees off remaining rival Sir Robert McAlpine for prestigious scheme

Google HQ Kings Cross aerial

Lendlease is tipped to land the prized Google headquarters scheme in King’s Cross.

The win would be a coup for the firm and mark a return to high-profile schemes that have included the athletes village at Stratford for the 2012 Olympic Games and further back, the Bluewater shopping centre in Kent.

Lendlease is currently developing and building the Elephant & Castle residential scheme in south London, along with the International Quarter in Stratford, which will be home to Transport for London and the Financial Conduct Authority.

The race for the £650m scheme came down to straight battle between Lendlease and Sir Robert McAlpine – which is expected to announce its new chief executive by the end of the month, with the shortlist for that position including a senior executive from US contracting giant Bechtel.

Bids by Mace, which is building a new ground for Tottenham Hotspur, and 22 Bishopsgate builder Multiplex were ruled out before Christmas.

The next high-profile job where Multiplex, McAlpine and Mace can be expected to renew hostilities will be the scheme to build Chelsea’s new 60,000 stadium, designed by Herzog & de Meuron and which was approved by planners last week.

Google’s new UK headquarters has been redesigned by US-Danish architect BIG and Thomas Heatherwick after Google decided to redraw its plans for the site. The executive architect is BDP. The job has an estimated construction cost of £350m.

AHMM originally won the project four years ago but it was formally confirmed last spring that the practise was off the job.

The original AHMM-designed scheme was going to be built by Bam, but it is understood the contractor decided not to pitch this time around.

BIG and Heatherwick also designed Google’s planned new global headquarters in Mountain View, California.

The 330m-long 10-storey groundscraper at King’s Cross will cover 650,000sq ft of office space at what will be Google’s third building at developer Argent’s 67-acre regeneration scheme.

The firm currently occupies 380,000ft2 at the completed 6 Pancras Square and construction on a second building which the firm is leasing located further back at the King’s Cross site is due to be completed by Carillion in 2018.

Google will eventually be able to house 7,000 people across the three buildings totalling 1 million ft2.

Lendlease has been contacted for comment.