35-storey Islington tech hub gets green light

The major redevelopment of a 35-storey tower in Islington has been given the go-ahead by planners.

Permission to retrofit and expand a 1990s office building near Old Street Junction was secured by developer Endurance Land, which plans to turn the space into an innovation hub.

The project will see 99 City Road – currently the headquarters of satellite service provider Inmarsat – renovated to offer 64,900 square metres of workspace with an emphasis on sustainability, upgraded public space and an improved relationship between the tower and its surroundings.

Construction News enquired about the contractor selection process, construction timeline and estimated construction cost, but no further details were available from the developer.

Most of the existing building will be retained, including the foundations and basement, with a new core and additional floors.

A “retain-first” approach will provide an adaptable workplace while reducing embodied carbon and construction traffic, the developer said.

It added that 4,300 square metres of the building’s office space would be affordable, effectively doubling current provision across the borough.

The publicly accessible ground floor will be home to amenities such as an exhibition area and a triple-height-ceiling great room for curated events.

Planned public-realm improvements include a new square and the widening of pedestrian pinch points, while distributed plant rooms will maximise space for roof gardens and terraces.

The design, by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, incorporates folded planes and serrated facades inspired by the Victorian architecture of nearby buildings.

Endurance Land chief executive Jonathan Fletcher described the design as an “incredible achievement”.

He added: “The redevelopment will deliver a landmark, net-zero scheme that’s tailored to Islington and Old Street, drastically improve the building’s sustainability credentials, offer generous community benefits, and unlock the potential of the site.”

Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates said the design objective had been to create a sustainable building that was sensitively scaled, with an appearance that changed according to the viewer’s position.

“The design for 99 City Road transforms an unattractive building, and almost triples the public realm at a key London location,” said principal Elie Gamburg.

“Our design’s innovative approach to ‘folding’ as a formal concept responds to the site’s diverse contexts at multiple scales, and elegant structural solutions achieve ambitious embodied-carbon targets.”

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