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UNStudio lands planning for Islington skyscraper

Dutch-practice UNStudio has received resolution to grant planning for a 30-storey residential tower in Islington, north London

Submitted for planning in December, the 259 City Road Basin project has been drawn up with PLP Architecture and includes 190 flats, a ground floor shop and a restaurant.

The tower for new landowner Orion Capital Managers UK replaces a previously consented residential-led scheme on the plot designed by Bennetts Associates which won planning permission in 2006.

The Amsterdam-based practice has previously drawn up plans for Birmingham New Street station and for a scheme at Battersea power station (2004). However both remain unbuilt meaning the City Road Basin tower could become its UK debut.

Construction is expected to commence this year.

UNStudio co-founder and principal architect Ben van Berkel said: ‘The detailing and contrasting materials on the façade and the balconies of the City Road Tower play a key role in the identity of the building and are, in fact, borrowed from furniture design.

‘This is an approach which we more typically apply to designs for smaller private houses.  However, following extensive research into the potential for extending durability and maintenance we were able to create unexpected material variations on a larger scale.’

Orion Capital Managers’ Aref Lahham said: ‘We are pleased with the progress being made to redevelop the site, which is surrounded by popular cosmopolitan communities.  The Canal Basin is being transformed into one of London’s most stylish waterside residential quarters with galleries, restaurants and what will be a superb retail environment.  With such an exciting design, 257 City Road will be a highlight of this regeneration effort and a landmark for the area.

‘Groveworld, a very experienced developer in this part of London, is the perfect partner to ensure this innovative and challenging development will breathe new life into the City Road Basin area.’

The project lies halfway between the City of London and Angel in Islington.


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