Meta announces its arrival at King’s Cross

31 March 2022 07:36 - BAM Construct UK Ltd
Meta announces its arrival at King’s Cross

London, 30 March 2022 -  Meta has today announced it has opened its new London offices at King’s Cross, following a three-year build and fit out.

The office, 11-21 Canal Reach, is the Estate’s largest office building with capacity for 4,000 Meta employees. The arrival of Meta represents a major milestone and is the start of an expanding presence for the company at King’s Cross.

It will  soon occupy more than 620,000 sq ft of commercial space across the neighbourhood when it takes occupation of 10 Lewis Cubitt Square later in the spring, providing up to 5,000 workstations for its staff in total.

11-21 Canal Reach

With 425,000 sq ft of grade-A office space, 11-21 Canal Reach is one of the lowest embodied carbon buildings on the estate per sq ft. Designed by architects Bennetts Associates, the two buildings feature 42,000 sq ft of landscaped roof gardens and terraces with uninterrupted views over central London, promoting employee wellbeing as well as local biodiversity. Other partners on the Canal Reach project included BAM Construct UK and Ramboll.

10 Lewis Cubitt Square

Designed by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM) Architects, the 196,000 sq ft building will open in Spring 2022 and offers nine floors of office space, a fifth-floor wraparound terrace and retail space at ground level.  It was designed to encourage the wellbeing of the building’s users and ensure future flexibility and adaptability.  As well as extensive outdoor terraces, internal spaces have been designed to maximise natural light.  Circulation routes through the building have been designed to be generous, uninterrupted and light filled, including the stairs and lobbies.  Employee wellbeing and fitness are also encouraged with prominent cycle entrances and parking, as well as changing facilities. Construction on 10 Lewis Cubitt Square was delivered by Kier.

Sustainability has been prioritised throughout the design and construction of the two workspaces and each is connected to the King’s Cross District Energy Network, meaning they benefit from zero carbon heating, hot water and cooling. The King’s Cross District Energy Network is powered by 100% renewable energy sources. King’s Cross announced that it had become carbon neutral in November 2021.

The two new buildings will become home to engineering teams working on Instagram, Reality Labs (which is building the future of connection within virtual and augmented reality), Workplace and Ads & Business Products.

London is already Meta’s largest engineering hub outside the US with more than 4,000 employees based at offices in Brock Street, Rathbone Place, Shaftesbury Avenue and now King’s Cross.

King’s Cross is London’s fastest growing district and has, over the past decade, outperformed all other London Opportunity Areas for employment and population growth. At the heart of the knowledge quarter, it has become a hub for creative and digital businesses, an important location for business in the capital attracting major global companies. On completion, circa 42,000 employees will be working across the estate.

Steve Hatch, Vice President Northern Europe at Meta, said: ‘London is already our largest tech hub outside of the US and our new campus will now be home to thousands of high-skilled engineers. Our teams here are building innovative technologies to connect billions of people around the world and help small businesses grow, while also keeping our services safe.’

Helen Causer, office lead at King’s Cross, comments: ‘Our workplace routines have been turned upside down during the past two years and that makes the arrival of the first Meta employees at King’s Cross even more exciting. It reaffirms our view, and one that is shared by Meta, that the best spaces and places will always play a vital role in culture, connectivity and creativity and are fundamental to how our customers do business. This is an important milestone for the estate as well as London’s post-pandemic recovery.’

Rod Stiles, Director of BAM Construction London, said: ‘BAM’s design, engineering and construction expertise was instrumental in creating this hugely impressive scheme. Our work on assessing embodied carbon took sustainability to new limits and has given us lasting landmarks that create new standards. Delivering the project on behalf of Argent three weeks early during Covid was testament to the collaborative teamwork between Argent and BAM. It has been a challenge and a triumph.’

Julian Lipscombe, Director at Bennetts Associates, said: ‘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. 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% 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.’