Feedback sought for Old Street longlist

13 February 2018
  • James Eames


United Kingdom

Old Street development designs exhibited

In December 2017, Islington Council, together with the Mayor of London, Transport for London and Hackney Council, issued an open call for design ideas to create an iconic gateway at Old Street, an area about to undergo significant change. With the removal of the one-way system in favour of two-way traffic, the existing roundabout will be converted into an attractive new pedestrianised public space around an upgraded underground station entrance. On Monday morning, Islington Council released a longlist of 39 entries revealing a range of eye-catching designs, whose inventiveness reflected the call’s invitation for concepts including Smart City innovation and public art. An exhibition is now open to display the longlist so that the public can view the submissions and have their say.

The displayed entries reflect the need to create an inviting public space, such as Old Street Common by Hawkins Brown, with sculptural “stalks” referencing the area’s history as a field and featuring a sound installation by Melanie Wilson. Some designs incorporate areas for public performance, including The Stage at Silicon Roundabout by a team including Miram+Tom and Momentum Transport. Others use nature as a centrepiece, with Fereday Porland designing a self-sustaining botanical farm, while GRID Architects propose a hydroponic garden as a break out space for local workers to gather, enjoying views from a roof terrace 40m high. On an even bigger scale, Mae envision a Tech Tower Park with ten layers, each spaced six storeys apart.

Diverse collaborations are a feature, with the brief emphasising the importance of partnerships to deliver the various design elements. Es Devlin Studio teamed up with Google Arts and Culture for their concept The Infinity Library, a project enabling people to read any book on personal phones or LED displays within a proposed sculpture.

The exhibition is right on the doorstep of the existing roundabout on the first floor of Building 3 at 2-4 Old Street Yard, and will open on weekdays from 12pm-6pm until Friday 2nd March. The entries are also viewable here, together with a survey to gather opinions. All feedback will be collated and presented to the judging panel to inform their final decision.

Lucy Nordberg

TenderStream Research Specialist & Editor

This competition was first published by TenderStream on 18.12.2017. See the original brief here

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