City Road

We often drive up City Road which connects the Old Street roundabout to the Angel, constructed to connect the old New Road, now the Pentonville Road, to the City in 1761.   It’s transformed in the last few years from the home of my accountant into a high-rise boom town with the construction of the Canaletto tower by Ben van Berkel of UNStudio with its swagger curvilinear aluminium strips outlining the windows and now the even more massive 250 City Road by Norman Foster, which I photographed from outside McDonalds:-



3 thoughts on “City Road

  1. City Road seems to have been a bit of a wasteland for much of its life. In the late 80s/early 90s at the top (Angel) end there were some interesting places – the wonderful Garbanzo cafe, a gallery/bookshop which sold Blueprint magazine – but they were eradicated by the monstrous post-modern Angel Square building on one side and a pawn-broker and gym on the other, with the rear entrance to the Old Red Lion pub also lost, though the eccentric Candid Arts Trust survives ( above the old Angel tube entrance.

    The newer City and Islington Sixth Form College works well, as does Derwent’s new-ish Angel Building (home to the Design Council) on the other corner. As the Angel Building has shown, this junction could be a really interesting nexus for people, but the Islington planners seem more interested in approving out-of-scale residential high-rises along Regent’s Canal and the City Road Basin and down to Old Street roundabout – which is will soon no longer be a roundabout and, hopefully, will become the sort of nexus for people the other end of City Road should be.

  2. Perhaps. The execrable brick-built RBS building on the apex of City Road and East Road has gone, only to be replaced by an out-of-scale high-rise. And Moorfields Eye Hospital will soon be moving to Kings Cross/St Pancras (, which is a great loss. And may result in more eyesores. But the Shoreditch Grind has a been a great innovation, replacing a rather sad independent mobile phone store – and has expanded into Holborn, Covent Garden, and London Bridge.

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