35-storey tech hub in Islington given 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 developers 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 64,873 square metres of workspace with an emphasis on sustainability, upgraded public space and an improved relationship between the tower and its surroundings.

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

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

It was unable to provide further information on the project value, contractor selection and construction timeframes when asked by Construction News.

The developer added that 4,320 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 community makerspace, an exhibition area and a triple-height ceiling great room for curated events.

Significant improvements are also planned to the public realm with the provision of a new square and the widening of pedestrian pinch points, while distributed plantrooms 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.

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

“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,” he said.

Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates said the design objective had been to create a sustainable building which 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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