Islington is the most densely built borough with the least public open space in London. The provision of public space is largely characterised by nineteenth century streets and squares. At Arundel Square the radical proposal to deck over the adjacent railway line increased the available public space by nearly one half. The original vision came from PTE Architects, completing the square with a new housing development, over 150 years after the North London Railway line had left the square with only three built sides. A design team led by remapp was appointed by the London Borough of Islington to develop the public space element, reconciling the huge concrete slab with the existing Victorian square, to create a new and enlarged 21st century square.

Community engagement informed the design through meetings, workshops, events and exhibitions. The diverse community determined the need for robust, flexible, playful, green and open spaces, for both peaceful and sociable times, in all seasons.

The integration of a new 21st century concrete  deck extension with the existing 19th century public square, has created an additional 43 per cent of new public space from air.

“Not only does it provide a lung, it gives the community a heart too,” said Annie Miller, a resident.

Credits as supplied:

Landscape Architect + Lead Consultant for the Public Open Space: remapp

Structural and Civil Engineers: Price and Myers 

Quantity Surveyor: Baillie Knowles  

Soil Scientist: TOHA

Deck Engineer: Atkins + Network Rail  

Building Architect: PTE 

Community engagement +Bespoke Furniture: Plattformer 

 Community engagement: Building Exploratory

Arboroculturalist: ACS Consulting 

Bespoke Concrete :  Kitkaboodle

Main Contractor: The Landscape Group