Jestico + Whiles

The Pavilions, 351 Caledonian Road in the London Borough of Islington provides 156 sustainable homes of which 60 are for affordable rent and shared ownership, with the remainder for private rent with a significant proportion of larger units including four-bedroom apartments. 

Developed on a derelict railway embankment site, previously compulsory purchased for the Channel Tunnel Rail Link into London St Pancras, completed tunnels run approximately five metres below ground.

Comprising one linear building and five freestanding pavilions, the scheme faced site challenges, including two additional railway lines adjacent and designation as a site of importance for nature conservation (SINC). The site is within the Barnsbury Conservation Area.

Lightweight design solutions such as pre-fabricated structural steel frame above concrete rafts were used to ensure minimal disruption and deal with the challenges posed by the tunnels and the site’s steeply sloping topography.

The layout locates all ancillary spaces against the railway’s edge and provides generously sized homes with rooms and south-facing shaded balconies. Homes achieve Code for Sustainable Homes Level 5.

Careful planning and a holistic design approach worked together to create a housing development where homes and managed ecology work complement each other.

Interlocking forms are clad in multi-stock buff brick or with glazed ceramic tiles, with tones and verticality reflecting the surrounding woodland. Added climbing plants, green walls and green roofs enhance the environment and integrate the landscape with the built form of the scheme. Balconies featuring patterned metal fretwork detailing invoke the wrought-iron railings found in the conservation.