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160 Old Street

Winner AJ Retrofit Awards 2021

Short listed for Best Commercial Building in 2019 Brick Awards

Shortlisted in NLA Awards 2020

160 Old Street London case study


Architect - Orms Architecture

Brickwork Contractor - Swift Brickwork Contractors Ltd

Bricks - Ketley class A facing bricks and specials and Ibstock white glazed bricks


An uninspiring 1970's former Royal Mail building was reclad with brick and glass by Orms architects and transformed into a contemporary, flexible and collaborative office and retail space in the heart of Islington








The project involved a 166,300 sq ft refurbishment including 153,000sq ft of office accommodation over eleven floors. Two additional top storeys were added in the redesign and four new retail units along  Old Street were created to enliven the street frontage.

One of the key challenges for the designers was to embrace the building's unique history and to balance that within a sensitive 21st century architecture and the use of high quality brick has been key to the new scheme.  A  glazed white brick together with the Ketley Staffordshire blue class A facing bricks, with their slight sheen, create a fusion of vertical and horizontal elements and a highly modern aesthetic.  Subtle detailing such as the use of different bonding  patterns (vertical stack bond as well as running bond) and tapered window reveals enhance the design.

160 Old Street London

A new single storey pavilion with attractive green glazed piers forms the new and welcoming building entrance - moved from the corner of Old Street to the quieter Bunhill Row frontage - providing an open and welcoming reception with informal, collegiate spaces for communal working and networking.  Sustainability has also been an important consideration and the new scheme  incorporates blue roofs for rainwater attenuation, photovoltaic panels at roof level, a variety of sedum and wildflower roofs, bug hotels and bird boxes. 

160 Old Street London with Ibstock glazed bricks