A civic commons for Silicon Roundabout / by Nick Ierodiaconou

Architecture 00 are continuing to lead proposals for a new civic institution for London at Old Street Roundabout. In the last few years, the emergence of an extraordinary cluster of young creative and technology startups around the area of East London have lead Old Street Roundabout to be dubbed 'Silicon Roundabout, and been part of the wider support from the government for Tech City across East London. Yet the roundabout itself remains something of a neglected underpass.

Working with local partners,  00 are developing proposals for a new civic space for London; an open 'commons', owned and operated in the community interest. It will be a building providing workshop spaces, exhibition spaces, event hosting, free workspaces, education and innovation accelerators: in short, a low-threshold point of entry for everyone – from the international investor to the London teenager who wants the opportunity to turn their idea into a startup.

The project will also include a significant upgrade to the whole public realm, including proposals to create a pedestrian peninsular, and safer cycle routes across the junction, which has become notorious as a cycling black-spot in the city.

Driven by the impetus of the local community and startups, 00 are working with the Greater London Authority, Transport for London, London Borough of Islington, London Borough of Hackney, the Tech City Investment Organisation to progress the project through technical feasibility stage.