99 City Road, London. IMAGE: Aesthetica

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Planning Approved for 99 City Road, a Landmark Transformation Project on Old Street Junction

A resolution to grant was passed by the London Borough of Islington for the retrofit and extension to an outdated 1990s office building near London’s Old Street Junction.

Designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF) for Endurance Land, 99 City Road will provide high-quality workspace within a distinctive 35-storey landmark building, alongside significant improvements to the public realm at the heart of London’s Tech City.

The existing building at 99 City Road – built in the early 1990s as the headquarters for Immarsat – has a poor relationship with its surroundings. The updated building greatly enhances the public realm by providing a generous new public square that complements the new Old Street Tube station, and creates an improved sense of arrival to what was previously a disjointed and unattractive streetscape. A publicly accessible, permeable ground floor has been designed for public benefit, with dedicated spaces for free community use, cultural programming, and curated events.

The majority of the existing building’s structure will be retained, including the foundations and basement – a retain-first approach that provides an adaptable workplace while reducing embodied carbon and construction traffic. A new core will be inserted and additional floors added to create a hybrid old/new structure.

Distributed plantrooms allow maximum space for roof gardens and terraces. The alteration, extension, and refurbishment of the building will create 64,873m2 of adaptable new workspace – with a minimum of 10% of the GIA office uplift area offered as affordable workspace and effectively doubling the current provision across the London Borough of Islington.

The building design uses a folded composition that responds to context, minimises wind and maximises daylight to the adjacent square. This dynamic composition shifts in perspective from every approach and vantage point – marking one of London’s primary intersections. The building’s serrated facades are inspired by the materiality of nearby Victorian architecture, and incorporate natural ventilation and passive shading while creating a dynamic aspect to the exterior design. The compositional design of folded planes responds to context and mitigates environmental impacts.

99 City Road is targeting BREEAM Outstanding, WELL Core Platinum certifications, and embodied carbon <600kg/CO2/m2, exceeding RIBA’s 2025 target.

Jonathan Fletcher, CEO of Endurance Land:

“The redevelopment will deliver a landmark 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. It’s an incredible achievement to design a tower of this calibre. We are delighted to have been granted a resolution for planning approval. Our congratulations to the entire project team. We would also like to thank Islington Council and the planning officers for their close collaboration throughout the entire planning process.”

John Bushell, Principal, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates:

“From the earliest stages of the design process we were looking for the best way to retain as much of the existing structure as possible, to improve the public realm, and to create a landmark building for London’s Tech City on this important site. The project delivers much-needed office space to suit different occupiers’ budgets, alongside many benefits to the wider community. The committee’s decision reflects the collaborative achievement of the whole team and we’re incredibly pleased with the outcome.”

Elie Gamburg, Principal, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates:

“The design for 99 City Road transforms an unattractive building, and almost triples the public realm at a key London location. 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. A careful emphasis has been placed on detail and material craft to create a building that is sensitively-scaled with an appearance that changes with peoples viewing position.”

Team: 

  • Project Manager: Avison Young
  • Planning Consultant: DP9
  • Public Realm Consultant: Publica
  • Structural Engineer: AKTII
  • MEP Consultant: Atelier Ten
  • Community Engagement: Kanda
  • Sustainability Consultant: Twin & Earth
  • Transport Consultant: Steer
  • Planning and Heritage Consultant: Montagu Evans
  • Cost Consultant: Arcadis
  • Facade Consultant: FMDC