Laurie Olin and Townshend design major public spaces
A new park and square in Argent’s King’s Cross development have received planning permission from the London Borough of Camden and should open next year. The new spaces, as yet unnamed, have been designed to facilitate a wide range of activities and uses: the square will have the infrastructure in place for markets, concerts and cinema, while the park is designed as a new ‘lawn’ for London.
The park will be the largest green space at King’s Cross, a natural “lung” between office and residential buildings, and together with the square it will form a completely new access route from Regent’s Canal to York Way.
The square, which measures 78m x 49m at its largest point. has been designed by landscape architect Laurie Olin, known for his work on the new US Embassy building and Bishopsgate in London, Intended to act as a west-facing sun trap, it will have a chevron stone pattern, seating areas enclosed by planting, and 50 arced jets of water forming pools on the eastern side, The space will be able to host up to 2,250 people at events.
Townshend Landscape Architects, the designer of Granary Square and part of the masterplanning team for the entire King’s Cross development, has designed the park. Measuring 136m x 40m at its widest, its design is inspired by the relaxed grassy lawns of London’s garden squares, such as those in Bloomsbury. Gently mounded lawns flow through the park, subtly dividing it into smaller spaces. An avenue of London plane trees extends along the eastern side of the park and the square, creating a visual link up towards York Way.