The Google behemoth emerging from King's Cross
- Credit: André Langlois/HayesDavidson
Tech giant Google's "landscraper" is rapidly taking shape at King's Cross, with topping out expected in the first half of 2022, according to the company.
Despite delays during the pandemic, the company is confident it is on track for the next milestone.
The campus, KGX1, is being constructed of timber, steel and glass, stretching 300 metres alongside the railway lines and south of the Regent's Canal.
It was designed by Heatherwick and BIG and received planning permission from Camden Council in 2017.
A panoramic, landscaped roof garden with a rainwater irrigation system will provide a space for downtime for employees ("Googlers") and a habitat for bats and birds.
A Google spokesperson said: “King’s Cross has seen a profound transformation and we’re proud to be part of its regeneration.
"We’ve invested in more than one million square feet of office and retail space, which will create capacity for up to 7,000 colleagues across the King’s Cross campus.
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"Our plans for our workspace reflect both our company’s commitment to London’s future growth and success, as well as our belief in the office as part of the future of hybrid working."
Google says KGX1 will be its most ambitious "smart" building to date, with 75,000 interconnected devices in the building to improve energy efficiency in real time, troubleshoot and improve the experience for those inside.
“We’re also committed to ensuring the Kings Cross development pushes the boundaries of sustainability and serves as a resource for the local community," said the spokesperson.
"We’re exploring ways to use parts of the building in a way that benefits local businesses, to create a seamless connection between our campus and the surrounding area. By doing this, we hope to support not only our employees, but the needs of the greater King’s Cross and Camden communities while contributing to a culture of innovation in the neighbourhood."
The company says despite moves towards a more flexible, hybrid approach to work, in-person communication remains important, and that the building's horizontal footprint will help this.
Earlier this year it was announced Google is buying the Central St Giles office, near Tottenham Court Road, where it is currently a tenant. It is spending around £762.5 million, as well as the cost of refurbishment.
The company will have a capacity for 10,000 employees in the UK, up on the current 6,400.