In 2019, the iconic 1960s roundabout in Old Street, London, will be entirely removed and a two-way traffic system introduced, creating a new public space. As part of the regeneration, Islington Council in partnership with the Mayor of London, Transport for London and Hackney Council asked designers to consider how the street could look after the roundabout is removed. Four winning concepts have now been chosen from a long-list of 39 designers which included Zaha Hadid Architects and Es Devlin.
The winning concepts are from Dar Group, EPR Architects, Gpad London and Nicholas Hare Architects which answered the brief of an “iconic gateway” at the East London roundabout. Both the roundabouts shape and location informing the winners’ ideas.
Often dubbed Silicon Roundabout due to the high volume of tech companies surrounding it, Gpad London and Nicholas Hare Architects took this as inspiration. Gpad London’s proposal involves creating a “digital garden” that will include “a forest of lights that generate electricity.” Nicholas Hare Architects, on the other hand, propose a park that will “harness the social, environmental and economic aspirations of the area.”
EPR Architects and Dar Group both utilised the roundabouts shape and form, presenting visualisations of circular digital display boards raised above what will be the new public space.
Each proposal will now be used to inform the final design, with a budget of £1 million allocated by Islington Council. Claudia Webbe, Islington Council’s executive member for environment and transport, stated that: “Old Street is an iconic place, known across the world as a vibrant hub of technology and culture, and it inspired many bold and exciting design ideas for our open call.” She then went on to add that: "In an extremely competitive field, the judging panel has selected the entries that we believe offer the best ideas to create an iconic gateway for Old Street with a much-improved environment for local people, cyclists and commuters, alongside the wider transformation of Old Street.”
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Ruby joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in September 2017 after graduating from the Graphic Communication Design course at Central Saint Martins. In April 2018, she became a staff writer and in August 2019, she was made associate editor. Get in contact with Ruby about ideas you may have for long-form stories on the site.