British architecture and interior design studio Conran and Partners have completed the interior design and fit-out of the ground floor reception and amenity areas at Author, Related Argent’s first Build-to-Rent development in London’s King’s Cross.
Located at 180 York Way, Author King’s Cross comprises three buildings arranged around a public landscaped courtyard garden designed by Fabrik. At the northwest of the triangular site two linked buildings, designed by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, provide 140 market rental homes above the Conran and Partners-designed amenity spaces that serve the whole development. The project’s ambition is reflected in its commitment to creating an unparalleled residential experience.
Rooted in an ethos of ‘urbanised nature’, Conran and Partners have seamlessly integrated the richness of both emerging and historic contexts, delivering a project that resonates with a sense of refined living. The design concept cleverly combines patterns and forms from urbanity with the textures, tones, and layers of nature.
Residents are welcomed into a double-height lobby area that sets the tone for the whole development. Accents of pop colours, such as the bespoke artwork by Kenny Nguyen, are carefully balanced by the natural and neutral patterns of wood and concrete, and hedged by biophilic elements that soften the boundaries between indoors and outdoors. The use of timber joinery on internal walls adds warmth and tactility to the space. The curve motif design of the panelling was inspired by the arches of King’s Cross, creating a dynamic background for the cold rolled steel reception desk from Isomi with the use of varying sized tonal slats timber slats.
From the lobby, the staircase leads up to further amenity spaces, which include a private lounge, a co-working area, a courtyard lounge, a garden kitchen, a screening room and a gym. These stem off from seating and coworking spaces that line the corridor connecting the spaces with views onto the central courtyard garden area.
The private lounge, with furniture and finishes in tones of green and orange, features a pool table and a bar backed by a bespoke bronze mirror with the reoccurring arches motif and framed by a Shiva Pendant Light by Morghen Studio, which dances and twists with a scenographic and unexpected flow. Through the whole project, Conran and Partners focused on non-uniform lighting, strategically crafting points of interest and visual hierarchy and fostering an atmosphere of comfort and domesticity.
The co-working area, named ‘The Nook’, provides residents with different setting to accommodate different ways of working, from semi-private booths with a controlled backdrop to a more collaborative central table. The vertical panels in laminated bamboo help define the personal space while still allowing light and views through and improving acoustic performance.
The central space, the courtyard lounge, is designed to blur the boundaries between indoors and outdoors acting as a flexible area to socialise, work or rest. Conran and Partners, in collaboration with Field Clegg Bradley Architects, have ensured that the interiors are intricately connected with the external architecture and nature, creating a cohesive and sophisticated living experience. The ceilings, especially the bespoke triangular panels by SAS, exemplify the dedication to customised excellence, making Author a testament to contemporary design. The Bauwerk textured paint further create a sense of connection to the outdoors with its earthy texture and tone.
Beyond the courtyard, the corridor continues into the connected building, with a private screening room to the left and a garden kitchen to the right. The flooring across these spaces has been carefully selected to bring an urban feeling, with a raw concrete-inspired carpet in the screening room, and Mutina’s Mews tiles in the kitchen area to reference Victorian quarry tiles in a modern way.
Bookending the entire space, is the residents’ gym which dials up the guest experience, leaning into the supernature concept with saturated natural shades of green and red, also present in the dichroic glass, offset by the industrial look of galvanised metal.
Responding to the richness of both the emerging and historic context, Conran and Partners’ vision channels a sense of ‘urbanised nature’, reinterpreting the urban aesthetic while embodying the natural sensibility.
Simon Kincaid, Principal at Conran and Partners, said:
“Our vision for Author, King’s Cross was to fuse urbanity with nature, crafting an unparalleled residential experience. Each element curated, from the intricate motifs inspired by King’s Cross arches to the nuanced play of colours and materials, echoes the historic context and contemporary design. We’ve sculpted an environment that speaks to refined urban living, fostering a sense of connection to both the built and natural worlds.”