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The Essex Road development regenerated a run-down corner petrol station site in north London into a hub of modern, spacious apartments and shops. The new building has a contemporary edge, yet complements its neighbours. The fourteen multiple-bedroom apartments focus on commodious living areas, allowing the occupier to enjoy the thrill of urban living with a comfort normally only found in the suburbs.

Expedition undertook the structural design of the Essex Road development. In order to meet the open plan living requirements, and the generous room sizes we adopted flat slab construction with a very irregular column layout, twisting and shuffling columns to achieve the optimum flat layout. The penthouse level was constructed using a lightweight steel frame, ensuring that these prime apartments did not need to be constrained by the layouts below and giving both client and architect maximum flexibility.

The site conditions provided additional challenges. The former petrol station tanks, foundations of neighbouring buildings, and the remains of basements from pre-blitz housing all had to be accommodated. A flexible foundation system which allowed large offsets from columns to their supporting foundations was adopted.

The remediation of the former petrol station site, and the provision of a stylish building designed to the latest environmental guidelines, along with the creation of new shops has offered a new lease of life to this humble corner site.

Seán Walsh

Client: London & Regional Properties

Architect: Harper Downie Design Architecture

Project Value: £2.3m

Status: Completed 2007

316 Essex Road