The Fjord Building by Ben Adams Architects & Savills Investment Management fuses industrial accents with a Scandinavian aesthetic
This sensitive refurbishment of what was once Swan House delivers 20, 471 sq ft of unique, contemporary offices across five floors in King’s Cross. Ben Adams Architects’ brief was to reinvent the building without destroying its character. Their aesthetic for the new Fjord Building is inspired by its existing industrial heritage and its local history. Close to the canal basin, the area was once the hub of the Norwegian timber and ice trade and we have embraced the simple, pared-back principles of Scandinavian design.
Ben Adams Architects wanted to reveal the structure of the building, which had never been designed to be seen, to provide generous, flexible spaces with picturesque views on both sides. Ceiling heights have been opened up and services exposed, with existing concrete and steel columns sandblasted to showcase their industrial charm. Whitewashed walls, feature lighting, and natural ventilation help create the perfect backdrop for work and creativity.
A welcoming reception provides a collaborative space that can be used as a lounge or for co-working. Full-height glazed entrance doors and screens bring in a wealth of natural daylight and a feature stair provides a direct connection between the ground floor reception, lower ground, and first floor floors. The new timber entrance canopy combines with soft landscaping and improved signage to create a more distinctive and welcoming presence on New Wharf Road. Pale colours are used to reflect and illuminate spaces, maximising available light, while warm accents are provided by textiles and soft furnishings.
“The Fjord Building has been cleverly re-invented to suit the modern occupier providing an interactive collaboration area in reception and highly flexible floorplates to create spaces that inspire its occupants. There has been a strong emphasis on ESG and health and wellbeing, especially important in today’s workplace.” – Jo Buckley, Savills Investment Management
“Thinking about the way buildings can contribute to our wellbeing has become increasingly important. In a building like this with natural ventilation, a wealth of daylight, openable windows, and great views on all sides, you are already halfway there.” – Ben Adams, Ben Adams Architects
Ben Adams Architects has developed a reputation for elegant, contextual and sometimes unconventional architecture that balances function with ingenuity and delight. Their work is underpinned by a rigorous process that balances context, constraints, and concepts. The practice is particularly skilled in working with complex sites and existing buildings, designing in a way that unlocks potential and value for both users and clients. BAA’s portfolio includes the award-winning and BREEAM ‘Excellent’ Merchants Hall in Islington, Nobu Hotel in Shoreditch as well as major mixed use schemes in the US and Europe.
Ben Adams is an Expert Panel Member on workplace for New London Architecture. He is also a judge for the Festival of Place – an awards that celebrates placemaking.
For further information about Ben Adams Architects, visit benadamsarchitects.co.uk
All images courtesy of Ben Adams Architects & Savills Investment Management
Photography Matt Chisnall