Google wants to make its King Cross headquarters a destination

Google has shared details of how it wants to make its upcoming London Kings Cross headquarters a destination for shopping, tourists and growing brands.

Since details emerged in 2013 that Google was set to build a new London headquarters right next to Kings Cross station, the project has been repeatedly delayed. The project was originally due to be completed as early as 2016, but work has continued alongside a number of major redevelopments in close proximity to one of London’s major public transport hubs. Construction officially began back in 2018.

In a new blog post, Google’s Vice President for the UK and Ireland, Ronan Harris, detailed some of the proposed plans for the Kings Cross headquarters. Rather than another office block, it looks like the project is set to include 250 meters of ground floor retail space alongside flexible event space. For small businesses, Google will offer “tilting wooden gates” and “various storefronts” that will be fully customizable by future tenants.

When complete, our new location will comprise over one million square feet of office and retail space on the ground floor, and it will be a resource not only for Googlers, but also for Londoners. We want the spaces and experiences we offer to create opportunities for local people and businesses and contribute to the culture of entrepreneurship and the dynamism of the region.

Google also plans to offer this retail space within its Kings Cross headquarters to a mix of “established and growing” brands with a launchpad initiative available for small businesses as well as events and year-round learning opportunities.

We plan to offer the store units to a mix of established and growing brands, and provide support to help big ideas grow. Alongside the individual retail units, a market hall will provide a launch pad for small businesses, while a community, education and events space will host a changing schedule of events throughout the year.

For those working within Google’s upcoming base of operations in London, flexible hybrid working will be offered and the company has reiterated its commitments to sustainability and environmental efforts. The site is designed to be fully electric with an internal system providing real-time feedback on hourly energy consumption to help improve day-to-day efficiency.

Solar shading should be used rather than traditional central heating methods to regulate building temperatures. Google should also source local low-carbon materials for internal construction and office furniture with the aim of reducing carbon impact by up to 20%. This goes hand in hand with increased cooperation with Camden Clear Air and other local groups to help other local businesses reduce their carbon impact.

A completion date is not yet known for Google’s Kings Cross headquarters, but an earlier report by The Telegraph suggests it will be completed sometime in 2024.

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