Commissioned jointly by Islington Council, British Waterways and a number of landowners, Bennetts Associates’ masterplan creates a high-density, mixed-tenure residential development that opens the basin up to public use, with parks and walkways around the water and a range of lively commercial and community uses at ground level. The placement of two towers at the point where the basin meets City Road provides the strongest possible change of identity for the basin area and a metaphorical gateway to one of Islington’s largest but previously undiscovered amenities.
The greater density at City Road means that lower scale buildings and a variety of open spaces are possible elsewhere on the site. A boat club for local schoolchildren and moorings for narrowboats support leisure activity on the canal, whilst the terraced area at the head of the basin not only disguises an electricity substation but is also the venue for occasional performances and other events.
Since the masterplan was approved by the planning authorities in 2004, Bennetts Associates has completed the works to the basin head while various architects have made detailed proposals for individual buildings on the site.