Canonbury Cross is the redevelopment of the former Highbury Ford car showroom, a brownfield site close to Highbury & Islington tube station.
At a glance
Canonbury Cross’s location, with surrounding Grade II listed buildings including Union Chapel and two neighbouring conservation areas on the borders, required a sensitive and thoroughly planned approach to design and construction.
- Architect: Pollard Thomas Edwards
- Contractor: Ardmore
- Units: 90 homes (45 private sale, 27 social rent, 18 shared ownership)
Explore the development
About Canonbury Cross, Islington
Design and heritage considerations
Through several public consultations we worked with the architects to create a design that would complement the environment. This included:
- Reduced massing, height and footprint of the buildings to maintain the critical views of Union Chapel and local heritage
- Pulling back from the site boundary to accommodate existing mature street trees
- Family town houses as a more appropriate frontage to the opposing Georgian houses
- Using traditional building material sympathetic to the local vernacular
Other than the street level considerations, the design and construction of Canonbury Cross was also affected by two tunnels that run directly underneath the site: the Victoria Line, and a part of the Great Northern Route connecting to the new Thameslink.
The close proximity to the tunnels and resulting vibration needed careful consideration, given the residential use above. While the reduction of vibration was not a planning condition, as long-term stewards of the building we wanted to ensure that resident satisfaction remains high. With our architects we examined various options before settling on the use of an impact sound insulation matting fabric. This mat, consisting of high‐grade fibres of recycled rubber, has the added benefit of being an environmentally friendly solution to a complex problem.