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In pictures: 39-strong longlist in Old Street Roundabout contest


The AJ presents images of all 39 longlisted concepts for a £1 million transformation of Old Street Roundabout

Among the teams selected from more than 120 entries to the Islington Council-backed commission include AHMM, Zaha Hadid Architects, Hawkins\Brown, Mae, Tonkin Liu, Ayre Chamberlain Gaunt, EPR, GRID, Pilbrow & Partners, shedkm, and Gibson Thornley (full longlist below).

The competition sought multidisciplinary teams of architects, artists, designers and technologists to submit ‘exciting, bold and iconic’ proposals for a new gateway structure or public artwork reflecting the area’s identity as a hub for digital innovation.

The project is part of ambitious plans to close the north-western arm of the congested roundabout to create a new pedestrian plaza and entrance to the busy underground station. It is supported by the Mayor of London, Transport for London (TfL) and Hackney Council. Proposals were permitted to exceed the £1 million budget if suitable options for additional funding are identified by the applicant.

All the longlisted designs are now on public display inside AHMM’s White Collar Factory (2-4 Old Street Yard) next to the roundabout from today until 2 March.

Judging the competition are Claudia Webbe, Islington Council’s executive member for environment and transport; Feryal Demirci, Hackney councillor and cabinet member for neighbourhoods; Will Norman, London’s walking and cycling commissioner; and Allison Dutoit from Gehl Architects.

Webbe said: ‘Old Street is an iconic location, and its transformation will hugely improve the area for pedestrians, public transport users, cyclists and people who live and work nearby.

‘We have had huge interest in our design open call, and the public exhibition is a chance to have your say on the creation of an exciting, bold, iconic gateway – 39 innovative and inspiring ideas set out in one place, so you can help to shape the future of Old Street.’

Norman said: ‘This transformation is going to make Old Street a more pleasant and safer place for all pedestrians and cyclists. It’s an area that is renowned for innovation so I’m really looking forward to seeing the range of ideas shortlisted and hearing Londoners’ opinions about them.’

Demirci said: ‘Old Street is a busy and dangerous area for pedestrians and cyclists, and I’m looking forward to work starting so that the junction can be made safer for everyone.’

Old Street Roundabout is on the boundary of the London boroughs of Hackney and Islington at the junction of Old Street and City Road. It was created in the 1960s as part of an inner-city road improvement programme.

The complex – also known as Silicon Roundabout for the area’s density of high-tech startups – includes underground shops and station ticket hall, and a rooftop bar. The junction itself has been the site of many cycling accidents.

Five years ago, Architecture 00 mooted plans to transform the roundabout into a ‘start-up city’; while three years ago Alma-nac, Ben Adams Architects, Buckley Gray Yeoman, Farrells and Hawkins\Brown participated in a separate call for concepts.

The latest project is part of plans to close the north-western arm of the roundabout and reintroduce two-way traffic. The closure – due to be implemented in 2019 – will create a pedestrianised peninsula and an improved entrance to the underground station, along with segregated cycle lanes and crossings.

A shortlist will be announced in mid-March.

Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM) and Derwent London Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM), Derwent London AHMM AND Derwent London proposal for Old Street Roundabout
Atelier Chang Atelier Chang, Bongsu Park, Oliver Curtis, Alex Doss, ClearLED, Pavegen Tale Points
Ayre Chamberlain Gaunt Architects Ayre Chamberlain Gaunt, LT Studio, University of Reading, Spacehive, Heyne Tillett Steel, Max Fordham, Charcoal Blue, Peter Brett Associates, Professor John Worthington MBE Introvert-Extrovert
Brodie Plant Goddard Brodie Plant Goddard Nexus
Coffey Architects Coffey Architects Old Street Cloud
Cove Burgess Architects Cove Burgess, Eco Cycle, Pell Frischmann Silicon Hill
D*Haus Company  D*Haus Company  The Stone Circus
Dar Group Dar, Perkins+Will, Portland Design, Elementa Consulting, Currie & Brown, Maffeis Engineering Old Street Circus 2050
Djao-Rakitine Djao-Rakitine, Arup, Urban Intelligence Old Street Public Square:
Gateway to Smart Tech City
EPR Architects EPR Architects, Martin Richman, Wayfindr, Modus Operandi, Gillespies, Entuitive, Materials Council, Stage One The Iris
Es Devlin Studio Es Devlin Studio, Google Arts and Culture The Infinite Library
Fereday Pollard (01) Fereday Pollard Art & Technology Hub
Fereday Pollard (02) Fereday Pollard Self-sustaining Botanical Farm with Art and Technology Platform 
Fluid  Fluid, Trinity Design, Structure Mode, Momentum, SEAM, CAS (Contemporary Art
Society), London Wildlife Trust, Arup Digital, ISOBAR
Old Street Pier
Gibson Thornley Architects Gibson Thornley Architects, Kinnear Landscape Architects, Arup Urban Oasis
Gpad London Gpad London, Eyekon Old Street Digital Garden
GRID Architects GRID Architects Hydroponiqa
Hawkins\Brown Hawkins\Brown, Weber Industries, Studio Dekka, Melanie Wilson Old Street Common
Horden Cherry Lee (HCL) Architects HCL Architects Silicon Circus
Intervention Architecture  Intervention Architecture  Lover’s Knot: At Light’s Edge 
JaK Studio JaK Studio, Seymour Powell, CAR, JaM Management, CollectConnect, Light IQ COMM.ON
Mae Mae, Planit IE, Max Fordham & Partners, One Works, Changebuilding Old Street Common
Markwick Architects Markwick Architects, Thomas Leung Sustainable Urban Form
MRZ.ES MRZ.ES Sustainable Urban Form
MAX Architects MAX Architects, Wildstone Bildpunkt (Pixel)
Naza Architectura y Diseño Naza Architectura y Diseño, Consultants: Leandro Morillas Moreno, Tarick Chahade, Philipp Schäfer, Rogelio Perez Barja, Gema Pariente Sánchez, Iván del Río, Javier Campillo Puente Tech Forest
Nicholas Hare Architects Nicholas Hare Architects, Price and Myers, Hoare Lea, FIRA Old Street Park
Paul Cocksedge Studio (with Ben Adams Architects) Paul Cocksedge Studio, Ben Adams Architects Illuminated Arches
Perserverance Architects Perseverance Architects, Taylor Whalley Spyra, Furness Green Partnership, Ares Landscape Architects, Creatmosphere Silicon Towers
Pilbrow and Partners Pilbrow & Partners, AKT II, Space Syntax, Motion Transportation, FutureCity The Deck and Screen
Ruben Ramos Jimenez  Ruben Ramos, Lara Rooke, Ignacio Manrique, Maria Alonso, Xavier Tomassetti Living the Leaves
shedkm shedkm, Uniform,
BCA Landscape
A New Old Street: Where Promenade Meets Playground
Spaced Out Spaced Out, Kisset Co, Andie Scott Sowing the Seed
Sustrans Sustrans, Lumenpulse Group Hello, World!
Thor Architects Thor Architects Old Street Landscape Gateway
Tonkin Liu Tonkin Liu, Arup, SEAM, Integration Old Street New Tree
Urben Limited Urben Limited, Miriam+Tom, 18 Degrees, Momentum Transport The Stage @ Silicon Roundabout
What if: projects What if: projects  Old Street Arena
Zaha Hadid Architects Zaha Hadid Architects Hect Aire



Readers' comments (6)

  • 39 concepts but not one I like! Very few attractive and practice designs

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  • *practical designs

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  • Old Street is tired of being messed about with. Where's the joy? They all seem to be variations on themes of billboards, clutter and inappropriate urban greening.

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  • Phil Parker

    a low point for British Design.......

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  • Chris Roche

    The completion system is broken - and here is the evidence, if any were needed - with too many architects willing to give time and funding, to ill conceived and under resourced projects with little chance of realisation. It is a credit to the AJ to uncritically publish the Good, the Bad, and the downright Ugly.

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  • All credit to the Dar group for refusing to treat the site as a traffic delineated peninsula and taking a cue from the Exhibition Road redesign.

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