Archive 2016 10

Unique Buildings The square with curves CURVACEOUS, elegant and gracious, the architecture of N1’s new Islington Square combines contemporary style with an admirable respect for tradition. It could have been a seat of government or an imperial palace – yet the original function of the vast and elegant early 1900s building just off Upper Street, Islington, was instead a postal sorting office. Following the emergence of the original Islington Square mixed-use development scheme, the former North London Royal Mail sorting and delivery centre is now being preserved, conserved and given new life. Its imposing Edwardian façades, classical elevations and period satellite buildings are being juxtaposed against curvaceous new structures, creating aesthetically appealing contrasts between traditional and contemporary architecture. Located between Angel and Highbury Underground stations, Islington Square is tucked away behind Upper Street in Islington, N1. Working with investors Cain Hoy, developer Sager Group initially acquired part of the 4.5 acre site in 2003, and in 2007 planning permission was granted for a mixed-use development. In 2008, the Mitre Pub on Upper Street was obtained to provide a second route into www.builderandengineer.8 the site, and in 2012, separate planning permission was granted for a second mixed-use development. Final completion of the £400 million scheme is expected towards the end of 2017, with 263 private and affordable housing homes, 108 serviced apartments and 170,000 sq ft of retail and leisure space. The design contract was awarded to London-based CZWG with founding partner Piers Gough tasked with the creation of Islington Square’s brand-new buildings. An art-filled boulevard overlooked by loft apartments The scheme is defined by 83-metre-long Esther Anne Place, a pedestrian boulevard that runs down the centre of the scheme. Acting as the central core of the development, it is destined to contain £1 million worth of public artwork with shops, cafés, restaurants and leisure facilities lining the ground level. To one side is Number 8 Esther Anne Place, the principal Edwardian building that was once the main sorting office. This will contain warehouse apartments and maisonettes ranging from 462 sq ft to 2,900 sq ft, many incorporating original features such as high ceilings and ornate styling. Newly built and located on top of number eight will be an exclusive collection of penthouses jointly designed by CZWG and interior architects Wish London. The penthouses will have access to a private roof garden and swimming pool. “In its Edwardian heyday the General Post Office built some magnificent buildings,” says Gough. “The Post Office on Upper Street is a particularly swaggering example. Photo: Daniel Shearing Unbeknown to most people, behind it was an equally grand sorting office complex – a red-brick baroque palace of mail on a secret side street. Islington Square opens up and reveals this magnificence – and more – to the public.” On the opposite side of the central boulevard is Number 11 Esther Anne Place, Gough’s magisterial new-build element that comprises a series of sweeping curved façades, arching cornices; plus rounded roofterraces, courtyards and interior spaces. The building is already being acknowledged as one that will re-define the contemporary architectural landscape of the area. “The original building exteriors are being lovingly restored to their original grandeur with some suitably flamboyant additional touches.” says Gough. “The new buildings, with their exuberant curves, differ in style but match the spirit of the old. This high quality of design and specification will be carried through into every interior space.” A meeting of Edwardian and contemporary styles Defining the border between Number 11 Esther Anne Place and neighbouring Number 17 is North Arcade – a covered shopping street that links the development’s central boulevard to Upper Street. Building with a difference Showcasing unique and unusual construction projects

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