Architect Will Alsop has been dropped from a masterplanning scheme in north London after a firm run by two of his former protégés was given the job
Alsop & Partners has been replaced by Studio Egret West on a project to regenerate the first six miles of the A1.
Studio Egret West is the practice set up by former Alsop directors Christophe Egret, 45, and Dave West, 30, who left after Alsop sold 40% of his firm to a venture capitalist.
It is now working with Atkins and consultant Intelligent Space Partnership on a 15-year strategy paid for by Islington council and Transport for London. The aim is to regenerate the route from Old Street in east London to Archway six miles north-west.
West, the creative force behind Alsop’s eye catching designs for Bradford, South Yorkshire, had been director of masterplanning and Urban Design at Alsop Architects. In this capacity he had led the A1 project and has taken it with him to his new berth.
The initiative, called A1 Borough, aims to link schemes such as the Arsenal stadium at Ashburton Grove and Daniel Libeskind’s London Metropolitan University graduate centre and to the give the road a unified feel. Other plans to be considered include demolition of the Archway Tower and links with the developments around King’s Cross Station. The large square next to Highbury and Islington station could also be revamped to make it more pedestrian-friendly.
Last week the scheme was given the backing of London mayor Ken Livingstone, who aims to improve the quality of the capital’s public spaces.
A source at Islington council said that the team had been working on the scheme for a year and that they were in the second of three phases.
We did appoint Will Alsop but his role has been taken over by Studio Egret West
Islington council source
The source said: “We did appoint Will Alsop but his role has been taken over by Studio Egret West.
“It has worked on a consultation and is now in a delivery phase working on small-scale local improvements. But we’re also working on a long-term strategy for the area.”
The project team was unable to give an estimate of the project cost until the plans had progressed.
However, Islington council will formally launch the A1 Borough strategy next month.
Reg Marsh, Alsop & Partners’ managing partner, said there were no hard feelings towards Studio Egret West, despite the loss of the project.
He said: “From our perspective, we’d say good luck to them. There’s no animosity between us and there are certain areas where we are continuing to work with them.”