Contractor lands London double with life sciences job in King’s Cross and new office in Berkeley Square

Mace is emerging as frontrunner in the race to build an office and life sciences centre opposite King’s Cross station in London, Building understands.

The firm is believed to have pipped rivals ISG and Bam to become preferred bidder for the £150m deal, known as the Merck building, which will be the UK headquarters of global healthcare giant MSD.

It comes as Mace has also been appointed preferred bidder on a £150m scheme to redevelop a building on London’s Berkeley Square called Lansdowne House, having first edged ahead of rivals Multiplex and Laing O’Rourke to the job two months ago.

Merck Kings Cross

The 10-storey building will be built over the road from King’s Cross station. It will replace an Access self-storage unit on the Euston Road

Merck developer Precis Group’s 10-storey building, which has been designed by architect AHMM, will be built on an Access self-storage warehouse on the Euston Road.

General Demolition is already on site having been appointed to knock down the current low-rise art deco building called Belgrove House.

Others working on the scheme include QS Alinea, project manager CPC, structural engineer AKT II and services engineer Atelier Ten.

Mace’s appointment is for the shell and core only with the fit-out expected to cost a further £150m.

Precis said laboratories make up around 40% of the building’s total floorspace with associated office, research and ‘write-up’ space at levels four to nine.

MSD, which is known as Merck outside Europe, is the only tenant of the building.

The site is within London’s ‘Knowledge Quarter’ and close to the Francis Crick biomedical research institute built by Laing O’Rourke and designed by PLP and HOK.

The Knowledge Quarter, the area around King’s Cross, the Euston Road and Bloomsbury, also includes the Wellcome Trust and the British Library which is being redeveloped to include life sciences. A planning application for the British Library scheme, which is being masterminded by Stanhope to plans drawn up by RSHP. is due to be submitted to Camden planners in the next few weeks.


Lansdowne House has been designed by AHMM 

Meanwhile, the Lansdowne House scheme is being run by development manager CO-RE and will involve replacing the current building, built in 1987 by Chapman Taylor, with a new commercial building that was OK’d by Westminster council in autumn 2020.

AHMM is also behind this proposal which will feature 10 storeys of office space running across 225,000 sq ft.

CO-RE, which is behind the stalled ITV studios job on London’s South Bank as well as the 120 Fleet Street scheme which Lendlease is building, said the scheme will have 14,000 sq ft of retail and restaurants on the ground floor while public realm improvements are also planned. The new project will include 480 cycle spaces with showers, lockers and changing facilities.

Others working on the project include QS Alinea, structural engineer AKT II, building services engineer Aecom and planning consultant Gerald Eve.