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Work on the site of our new King’s Cross home has begun

A milestone on the way to the IOP’s relocation to King’s Cross has been passed as the construction team has begun work on the site of the IOP’s new building in London.

In order to keep everyone up to date, the IOP has launched this new microsite to provide information on progress and what’s planned on the site, which is at the intersection of Balfe Street and Caledonian Road in London N1.

The hoardings for the site, which are due to go up soon, have been designed to help passers-by to find out more about the IOP and what it does, through messages such as : “Are you a future physicist?”; “What happens when art and physics meet?”; “What’s your smartphone got to do with the International Space Station?”; “Could a material just one atom thick change the world?”; and “From quarks to computer games, it’s all physics”.

Artist's impression of the new building's basement level
Artist’s impression of the new building’s basement level

Professor Paul Hardaker, chief executive of the Institute of Physics, said: “We are excited about our move and what that means both for our physics community and for the Borough of Islington. We are very much looking forward to being an active part of the local community and the redevelopment phase gives us a chance to meet more of our neighbours and to say more about what we will be doing in the building when it’s finished. We hope these designs will give our new friends and neighbours a good sense of what we’re all about.”

The IOP is working with the construction company J. Murphy & Sons Limited on the project, which will retain the existing façades of the building and work to excellent environmental building standards. Demolition work will start in June 2016 and last for about six months, followed by a 12-month construction phase that is expected to end in December 2017. This will be followed by a fit-out phase that will mean that the building should be ready for opening to all in early 2018.

Hardaker said: “Once completed, it will be an international centre for physics that will showcase some of the best of modern physics and engineering.”

Explaining the rationale for the move, he said: “King’s Cross and the Knowledge Quarter is an exciting place to be, a well-connected public transport hub, and a place where we will be surrounded by other organisations that share our passion, like University College London, the University of the Arts, the Francis Crick Institute, the British Library, the Alan Turing Institute, Springer Nature and Google. We are looking forward to the opportunities that this brings.

“We will be creating a space where we can showcase physics and a place where people come to enjoy physics, whatever their backgrounds. We are excited about what the new building will offer to our members, who will use this as their London base, and to have a modern working environment for our staff. We also hope that the building will be actively used by our local King’s Cross community.

“I can reassure people that all of what we do will continue to run as normal during this development phase. And to keep everyone informed, we will be publishing updates on this dedicated King’s Cross website. We look forward to bringing you more news as our project develops.”