David Partridge’s Beautiful, Radical Philosophy Of London
Argent’s joint chief executive, David Partridge, has been developing Kings Cross since 1999, back when it wasn’t central, and wasn’t even pretty. Now it is one of the liveliest and most desirable neighbourhoods in London. We talked with David about his vision for London and why not every building needs to be amazing.
Back in 1999, Kings Cross was industrial and gritty. However, David says, the area had some good qualities that could not be overlooked, such as its incredible transport links. It had both overground and underground stations, and the Eurostar at St. Pancras had opened just five years before, making a weekend in Paris a real possibility for Londoners. David saw the opportunity and snapped up 60 prime central London acres.
Over the last decade and a half, David shaped Kings Cross into a bustling urban district with neighbours like Google and Universal Music. But it's not a tech hub. David tells us he likes a diverse mix of tenants and buildings: not all office, not all residential, not all anything. He isn’t aiming for any particular user, he says, and notes the area is home to media, art, fashion, advertising, hotels, the Aga Khan Foundations. “I don’t want to be a one-trick pony,” he says.
David says the most fundamental aspect of his project is that it has truly public, open space where people flock to shop, eat, work—and live nearby. The same sensibility runs through all of his developments, like Brents Cross and Tottenham Court, which he’s developing with partner New York-based The Related Cos.
You'll be able to meet David and other industry professionals at Bisnow's debut London conference in November.