New London Awards 2021 Winner - Islington Square
Winner in the MIXING category
Islington Square is the re-purpose of the former Royal Mail sorting office behind Upper Street, consisting of four elaborately embellished classical Edwardian red brick buildings. The mixed-used scheme was planned as a place to live and a destination, providing 260 mixed tenure homes (from studios, maisonettes to penthouses, and 36% affordable housing), 108 serviced apartments and 15,800 sqm of diverse retail, commercial and leisure services, including a subterranean six-screen cinema, luxury health club, independent restaurants, cafes, concept stores and theatre spaces.
Islington Square is a vibrant mixed-use scheme with careful design consideration given to how the range of uses sit together to form an inclusive and inviting place that creates opportunities and choices around social activity and authentic experiences.
Building on the rich and diverse physical and cultural identities that define this celebrated district of London, the building exteriors are restored to their original grandeur and the historic space reimagined with new purpose and vitality for the local community.
The Edwardian former Royal Mail sorting office at the centre of the scheme is part of the personality of the place. The original facades are retained, carefully detailed and specified with many of the existing architectural features salvaged and reused while high quality design interventions contrast with the existing structures through an architecture of curves.
The Grade II listed Post Office fronting Upper Street is one of two new pedestrian routes through to Esther Anne Place - a new flexible public realm and boulevard, designed as a natural meeting place and central to the scheme both physically and in it's wider context as destination.
The careful adaption and refurbishment of the existing buildings to conserve embodied energy stored in the existing building fabric and improve energy performance, with many existing architectural features salvaged and reused, was a significant step in ensuring a sustainable approach. Ground source energy is used to deliver the heating and cooling requirements, alongside highly efficient heat pumps and a CHP plant for energy needs. The scheme facilities sustainable living by optimising accessibility to public transport and supporting the co-location of homes, jobs, amenities and services.
International Jury Quotes
Islington Square is very appropriate for this context. It has the most mixed usage with theatres and hospitality, and a range of buildings.
The colour of the building is a bit like Red Bull, but sometimes Red Bull is good in the morning when you need waking up. The square has an interesting dimension. What I like is that there is affordable housing in it.