A shiny new glass and steel office block next to a major railway station might not seem like an obvious concert venue. But that's precisely what developer Peter Millican has attempted with the new Kings Place development, and it looks like he's pulled it off.

Kings Place is otherwise a nicely designed office building, done in the current style with a tall atrium and backing attractively onto the canal (the less said the better about the urban landscape of Kings Cross station at the front). You simply don't expect to find an art gallery and a 460-seat concert hall inside.

And when you get there, the hall is stunning - spacious, elegant, and with everything beautifully finished in light wood. More impressively, the architects and acousticians both seem to have been equally satisfied. From our seats at least, the sound was very clear, warmed up with just a touch of reverberation: perfect for the Vivaldi and Corelli concerti being played. The tall wooden panelling behind the stage looked as if it would help the performers to hear themselves also, always a worry for chamber players in a large hall.

The music at last night's launch party was performed by young players from a scheme of The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, who will be taking offices and a residency in Kings Place. It will presumably be a limited version of the OAE who play there, as it's not an enormous stage - you'd struggle to fit 20. It looks like it will be a truly fabulous venue for chamber music.

The real opening will be a festival in October, with an innovative format of 100 45-minute concerts of many different styles. London is already well provided with major orchestral halls, but the number of really top chamber venues is small, and Kings Place looks to be a great addition.

19th June 2008