Any Old Street Competition
The Architecture Foundation set this open competition to consider the urban landscape around the Old Street tube station and traffic node.
"I have known Old Street for years. Maybe even fifteen years. I have lived near it since 1992. I have traipsed the length of it in rain and shine. It has always been ugly, slightly intimidating and always long. Recently it has become more fashionable, particularly on the Hoxton side. Although it has been dug up and re-laid countless times and the traffic has been returned to two way; little has actually been done to improve the experience of the place…."
In its competition entry Project Orange decided to treat the street as a strip. The project proposed an area which could be more things to more people more of the time; a landscape for children's imaginations, a great pitch for a busker, a haven for the weary shopper. There are robust paths, simple benches, grassy banks and lights at night. Old Street is a vibrant axis, anchored by Hoxton and Clerkenwell, resurgent neighbourhoods which lay a veneer of the fashionable and the creative over the grain of old and established. Stride, stroll, saunter, browse – we wanted to invite the pedestrian percolation - of peddlers, punks and pensioners alike.
The final flourish is a fabulous fountain, the 'Old Street Spout' and iconic jet of water at the prow of our strip, a stopping point for tourists who wait for the hour to sound and the spout to shoot higher. Our entry made it to the top 10.