King’s Cross Sports Hall/

Bennetts Associates

United Kingdom

Project Details



London / United Kingdom



Year (Design/Construction):

- / 2019

Area (Net/Gross):

- / 2032 m2
Operational Carbon emissions

Operational Carbon emissions (B6) kgCO2e/m2/y:

Embodied Carbon emissions

Embodied Carbon emissions (A1-A3) kgCO2e/m2:

  • The project was designed to meet a near-zero carbon target
  • Innovative and passive design measures were incorporated including mixed-mode ventilation and optimised glazing ratios to provide daylight while reducing heat gains.
  • It also benefits from connection to the King’s Cross Central district heating and cooling network.
  • The chosen finishes give the building a very low embodied carbon target of 195kgCO2e/m2 once sequestration is taken into account (650kgCO2e/m2 without).


Project description as provided by the Architects:

The King’s Cross Sports Hall is an all-timber building, designed with multiple lives in mind, meaning it is highly adaptable with a long life span. Ultimately it will become a gym and sports facility for the London Borough of Camden, but its first life is a construction skills centre providing local people with access to training and jobs.

Conceived as a low-rise industrial building, its form is defined by the distinctive serrated roof and façades as a nod to its railway context and heritage. Internally, key interior spaces are arranged on either side of a central ‘social spine’, while the exposed CLT and glulam panels give warmth to the interior.

The patinated zinc cladding contrasts with this innovative all timber lightweight structure, sitting above railway tunnels less than 3m below the surface. The design responds to unseen challenges with the three operating rail tunnels, known as Gasworks Tunnels, dating to the late 19th century. The sensitivity of these historic tunnels has strongly driven the structural and architectural design, resulting in a very lightweight frame and defining the orientation of the building in relation to the tunnels.

The substructure consists of a bespoke mix concrete slab with strip foundation footings. These run perpendicularly across the tunnels to prevent concentrated loads. Above ground, the lightweight structure is achieved with Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) soldier walls and slabs paired with glulam columns and beams for its primary construction.

Architects / Engineers: Architect – Bennetts Associates

Delivery Architect – Stride Treglown

Structural Engineer – Arup

Contractor – BAM Construction

Photography – Hufton + Crow

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