Finsbury Square, on the boundary between the City of London and the Borough of Islington, is currently undergoing somewhat of a renaissance, with new commercial development to all sides of the square.
The buildings original architect was Sir Frederick Gibberd, best known for Liverpool’s Metropolitan Cathedral, affectionately referred to as ‘the wigwam’. His design for 12 Finsbury Square was a symmetrical post modern arrangement comprising heavy precast stonework with stone decorative features.
In early 2013 the Practice was engaged to investigate the redevelopment opportunities for the 8 storey building.
We examined all options from wholesale redevelopment to a ‘lick of paint’, as well as conversion to residential.
Upon completing the Feasibility study the clients advisory team provided the direction to substantially remodel, refurbish and extend the building retaining the commercial use.
A protracted Planning process followed and approval was achieved in April 2014 to add an additional storey and remodel both facades. The proposal rationalises the existing inefficient layout to create flexible floor space and an upgraded environmental performance.
The original ground floor had no connection to the adjacent landscape due to what we perceived an ill considered roof light to the basement. Our proposition seeks to provide a very attractive tree canopied external terrace, incorporating a double height interior space allowing natural daylight to penetrate deep in to the lower ground floor.
The new top floor will capitalise on the sites unique dual aspect celebrating panoramic views to the City across Finsbury Square and also Bunhill Fields. The future tenants will also witness top level cricket, rugby, charity events and military activities that occur within the old ‘artillery grounds’, views into which have been maximised by the inclusion of juliet balconies to all upper floors.
The project completed during summer 2016.