Meta unveils King's Cross office designed by Bennetts Associates
Social media brand Meta, formerly the Facebook Company, has opened the first of two offices in London's King's Cross neighbourhood, featuring landscaped roof gardens and terraces.
The office at 11-21 Canal Reach, which opened after a three-year build, was designed by Bennetts Associates with interiors delivery by TP Bennett following a concept design by Gehry Partners. It marks the start of an "expanded presence" by Meta at King's Cross.
It will be followed by a second building designed by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, which Meta will take occupancy of later this spring.
At 39,500 square metres, 11-21 Canal Reach is the biggest office building in the King's Cross Estate. It was designed by Bennetts Associates with the aim of promoting local biodiversity and staff wellbeing, and features 3,900 square-metres of landscaped roof gardens and terraces.
"Crowned by a rooftop park with exceptional skyline views, 11-21 Canal Reach delivers over 400,000 sq ft of office space with the flexibility required by Meta," Bennetts Associates director Julian Lipscombe said.
"Furthering our proud association with King's Cross, this latest scheme has a strong presence in the townscape and again focusses on sustainability whereby we've driven down the levels of embodied carbon by 30 per cent compared to standard industry practice."
"It is testament to an exceptional project team that we were able to deliver the biggest building to date on the masterplan despite the challenges of the pandemic," Lipscombe said.
According to the King's Cross Estate, the office is also one of the lowest-embodied carbon buildings on the estate per square foot.
Both this building and the second Meta office will be connected to the King's Cross District Energy Network, which is powered by renewable energy sources.
London is Meta's largest hub outside of the US. The new offices will house the company's engineering teams working on Instagram, Reality Labs (Meta's teams that focus on virtual and augmented reality), Workplace and Ads and Business Products.
The second Meta office in King's Cross, at 10 Lewis Cubitt Square, was designed by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris with construction by Kier and measures 18,200 square metres across nine floors.
It will feature numerous terraces, including a wraparound terrace on the fifth floor, and have retail spaces on the ground floor when Meta takes occupation of it later in spring.
"We've been working alongside Argent to design a mixed-use, office-led building providing flexible workspaces while ensuring users' wellbeing," said Simon Allford, executive director at Allford Hall Monaghan Morris.
"Large floorplates of generous height create flexible working environments and are connected by characterful common parts that are defined through a strategic use of robust linings and exposed concrete elements," Allford added.
"10 Lewis Cubitt Square is a key piece of the King's Cross Central masterplan and acts as a civic backdrop to the public Lewis Cubitt Square."
Once both 11-21 Canal Reach and 10 Lewis Cubitt Square are in use, Meta will occupy over 57,600 square metres of commercial space in King's Cross and have workstations for 5,000 staff in the area.
The Facebook Company changed its name to Meta in November 2021, adapting its logo to an infinity loop that resembles the letter M.
The opening of the office marks the second recent Bennetts Associates project to launch in King's Cross, following its cross-laminated-timber King's Cross Sports Hall.
The photography is by Hufton + Crow unless otherwise stated.
11 – 21 Canal Reach
Architect: Bennetts Associates
Structure engineer: Rambol
MEP Engineer: Cundal
Facade Engineer: FMDC
Cost consultant and EA: G&T
Fit-out design: Gehry Partners and TP Bennetts
Fit-out construction: ISG
Architect: AHMM Associates
Structure engineer: AKTII
MEP engineer: Cundal
Facade engineer: FMDC
Cost consultant and EA: G&T