Inspired by architecture of the Middle East, Victoria Hall offers high-quality postgraduate student accommodation for the Aga Khan Development Network. The building is part of the broader King’s Cross development area, for which we have enjoyed considerable involvement in a number of buildings, predominantly providing commercial and retail use.
Victoria Hall was conceived as a single brick-clad block, from which the 12-storey wings were carved, with retail situated in the ground floor, beneath the central courtyard on first floor. The residential then flanks this courtyard on three sides.
The site is bounded by two other new buildings, one providing commercial units and the other residential, as well as interfaces with the new HS1 rail link and Thameslink tunnels and numerous utilities; this complex site therefore required careful consideration in the early design stages.
The superstructure design worked around the architect’s internal layouts to produce an economical grid which met the loading requirements with minimal impact. The generous 3 m spaced study rooms were paired, and our design included an efficient 6 m structural grid. This is extended to 8 m in areas in order to minimise transfer structures at the first floor, forming a column-free space at the ground floor communal areas. In doing so we refined the slab structure and so maximised floor-to-ceiling heights.
External columns were arranged and positioned to provide optimum support to the masonry façade, minimising deflection and movement detailing. The façade incorporates large proportions of hit-and-miss brickwork, which we developed detailed options for during the design, allowing the contractor to assess these to optimise cost and programme benefits.
Postgraduate student accommodation in the heart of the major redevelopment of King’s Cross
Aga Khan Development Network
£ 22 million
- 2018 RIBA Regional Award