Ashby Capital and Native Land win planning consent for 70,000 sq ft “lab-enabled” creative re-use scheme in Kings Cross

Ashby Capital and Native Land have secured planning consent for the transformation of 105 Judd Street into 70,000 sq ft of lab-enabled workspace at the heart of London’s Knowledge Quarter.

The pioneering project aims to meet the increasing demand for flexible and adaptable laboratory and office space from life sciences and technology business. Its ‘lab-enabled’ specification allows for easy conversion of floors from offices to labs.

The creative re-use of the building will see 75% of the existing fabric retained and restored, while comfort and energy performance are bought up to class-leading contemporary standards. A two-storey extension will increase the available net floor area from 55,000 to 70,000 sq ft, increasing supply of modern space in the Knowledge Quarter, close to the Francis Crick Institute, Wellcome, UCL, British Library, Alan Turing Institute and British Medical Association. The design for the roof will create outdoor terraces for office users, and the building will also include end of journey facilities, including 152 cycle parking spaces in the basement, together with public realm improvements and a publicly accessible café at ground level.

The consented development, designed by a team led by Stiff + Trevillion Architects, will completely reposition, restore and extend the existing Edwardian building, one of the first examples in London of how high-quality labs can be delivered on a large scale within a sustainable refurbishment. It will feature highly efficient, all-electric building services, targeting a BREEAM Outstanding rating. In addition, the refurbishment has been planned to outperform both the RIBA and LETI 2030 targets for embodied carbon by targeting emissions of 250–300 kg CO2E/sq m.

Peter Ferrari, Chief Executive of Ashby Capital, said:

“Judd Street will be an important addition to our portfolio of smart, best-in-class office assets in strategic London locations, allowing us to capitalise on growing demand from the life sciences sector. We look forward to working with Native Land and the development team to deliver a first-rate building which meets future needs for flexibility, collaboration and amenity.”

Alasdair Nicholls, Chief Executive of Native Land, said:

“Our aim is to deliver high quality workspace for London’s Knowledge Quarter, with outstanding floor-to-ceiling heights that create large-volume creative workspaces that can be rapidly converted to science and technology research. 105 Judd Street is a flagship project that supports the aims and objectives of the Knowledge Quarter and embodies Native Land’s mission to provide innovative, sustainable, mixed-use urban projects, offering a first-class experience for occupiers.”

Knight Frank and Cushman & Wakefield have been appointed as letting agents. Gerald Eve advised on planning.

A joint venture between Ashby Capital and Montrose Land acquired 105 Judd Street from the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) in January 2021, bringing Native Land on-board as Development Manager.