Start a project

Astey’s Row, Essex Road

Development of 6 contemporary flats over a commercial unit on a sensitive urban site.

Successful planning design where previous schemes had failed

The site is on a prominent corner of Essex Road in Islington, facing South Library, a large red brick Grade II Listed library building of architectural significance. The site is also adjacent to the Canonbury and Cross Street Conservation Areas.

An initial scheme (prepared for the client by another architect) of contemporary appearance, was refused planning permission and dismissed at appeal, due to the impact on the adjacent listed building.

Our scheme was successful in obtaining planning consent and was supported due to the respect that it shows to the surrounding historic context in terms of scale, form and materials.

The key design challenges were to relate the development to both the adjacent listed Library, as well as the adjoining terrace frontage along Essex Road, and to provide sufficient new residential accommodation to ensure the viability of the project.

Maximising development value and maintaining operation of the commercial unit

Our scheme involved the partial demolition of the existing building, down to first floor level, and provides 6 contemporary flats arranged over four upper floors.

The ground floor coffee shop was retained and remained operational throughout the construction works.


Creative design working with height, plan and outlook constraints

Restrained by height limitations (together with the triangular footprint, sectional geometry and retained steel frame of the existing building) creative internal planning and the use of an “Impluvium” at roof level, were the primary elements of the successful design solution.

Generous levels of day lighting (all habitable rooms having at least two windows) together with bespoke kitchens and internal joinery units provided.

I have worked with Haines Phillips on a number of residential projects both as a co-professional in my capacity as an interior designer, and also as a client. As a Practice they have that rare ability to combine both interesting architecture and design with great practicality. They are able to cover the full spectrum of architectural services, with each of the partners having different expertise and skills. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them to others and would definitely instruct them again on any future projects."

– Client: Pembroke Estates


The development is located in Islington, North London.