RIBA London Awards 2016: a lab, a headquarters and infrastructure
Three Allies and Morrison projects have been shortlisted in this year’s RIBA London Awards: the Maurice Wohl Neurosciences Centre at King’s College Hospital, the headquarters for Banham Group and the King’s Cross Tunnel. Each very different, the diversity of the projects represents the breadth of the practice’s work across London. Yet all three do share a common thread: a keen attention to detail.
One of Europe’s largest centres for interdisciplinary neuroscience, this new building brings together cutting-edge research and clinical therapies together under one roof. Designed with PM Devereux, the centre provides an important urban function, framing a new public court by bringing neighbouring buildings on the campus and adjacent residential street together. Around the exterior, patinated brass panels, many of them veiled and independently motorised, create a rich and beautiful envelope. Allowed to weather naturally, no two panels are the same.
This is the new home for a family-owned London-based security company that has been in business since the 1920s. Accommodating each element of its operations, it has simple, durable and handsome detailing throughout. In both scale and timbre, the new building echoes its southwest London residential neighbourhood and the more immediate light industrial uses adjacent, resulting in an architecture that manages to both fit in and stand out.
This new pedestrian linkage provides access across King’s Cross and St Pancras stations, sitting within the wider context of the King’s Cross redevelopment. Its main feature is a 100m long light wall, which is a canvas for a variety of lighting displays. This infuses theatricality into what would have typically been just another utilitarian passageway; infrastructure doubles as public art.