Pollard Thomas Edwards Architects has won the Royal Institute of British Architects’ (RIBA) competition to design the Finsbury Leisure Centre in Islington, North London.
The firm was chosen from the final five shortlisted participants, including Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners, Henley Halebrown Rorrison Architects, Hawkins/Brown Architects and Grimshaw Architects.
Diarmaid Ward, Islington Council’s Housing and Development Executive Member, congratulated Pollard Thomas Edwards on their victory in the competition.
Ward continued: “We look forward to working with them and the local community to create new high-quality affordable homes and improved community facilities for Finsbury residents including a new leisure centre, GP practice, and nursery.”
Islington is currently facing a housing crisis, similarly to the rest of London, with a significant shortage of affordable housing.
Therefore schemes such as this are another chance to construct new council homes and help to meet the housing requirements of local residents.
The new leisure centre will replace an existing complex which was built in 1960 and will include new facilities such as sports pitches, a health centre, a nursery, an enlarged energy centre, and up to 124 homes all under one roof.
The recreation centre’s roof has a sawtooth structure that will allow the community spaces to be filled by natural light.
In order to create more space for the new scheme, four football pitches and some nearby buildings including the East-West Nursery will be removed.
Meanwhile, the London School of Economics has conducted research that suggests creating villages could help to solve the housing problems in London.
Berkely Group commissioned the report which aimed to identify what an urban village should be like and then analysed whether or not its Kidbrooke Village project in the borough of Greenwich measured up to those criteria and what could be learned from its creation.
They found Kidbrooke had half of these while the rest were works “in progress”.