Following an architectural competition, Dixon Jones (National Gallery, Royal Opera House, Said Business School) was appointed as the architect for the developers Parabola Land Limited. In delivering the brief, they have skilfully brought together a major arts venue and creative hub, elegantly situated bars and dining areas including a waterfront restaurant, an excellent conference and events centre, and a Grade A office complex. In addition to being an iconic, mixed-use building, Kings Place has been planned and designed from the very beginning as an environmentally sustainable development.
Kings Place was conceived with the surrounding area very much in mind. The northern façade of the building sits next to the Battlebridge Basin section of the Regents Canal and in close proximity to early industrial buildings to the east. The design has also taken into account the planned developments to the north and west. The design accommodates the difference in scale in the local landscape by breaking the building down into three basic components: a smaller-scale block on Battlebridge basin and the rotunda on the north-east corner are connected to a long rectangular block facing York Way. Between these components, running west to east, is a street-like atrium.
Kings Place contains the first new public concert hall to be built in Central London since the completion of the Barbican Concert Hall in 1982 (for more information please see Design). Together with the versatile second hall (seating 220), Kings Place has been designed to present a very wide range of musical performances and styles from around the world as well as associated events focussing on the spoken word.
Kings Place has two major spaces designed specifically for the display of Visual Arts, Pangolin London, the only commercial sculpture gallery in London, and Kings Place Gallery, currently managed by Piano Nobile Gallery. Both galleries required state-of-the-art environmental specification as well as the flexibility in load-bearing and display systems to facilitate regularly changing displays and touring exhibitions.
All seven levels above ground floor at Kings Place are commercial office space. Each floor is designed so that companies occupying the offices can bring together as many people as they can on one level, with the aim of promoting staff interaction in a more creative environment. Kings Place has exceptionally large floor areas, with good access to external and internal vistas and natural light.