Tech City: Is a makeover on the cards for Old Street’s Silicon Roundabout?
Old Street’s tired and run down “Silicon Roundabout,” which has paradoxically become the symbol for booming Tech City and its booming digital culture - could get a makeover if a group of designers get their way.
Architects 00:/ have teamed up with property consultants Space Station, both based around Old Street, to draw up plans to transform the concrete underpass into Startup City - a large public events space and hub for all things tech and start up.
They envisage a space encapsulating a support hub for start-ups, along with temporary and long-term workspaces, and a public space where tech expos, product launches, live events, public talks, and cultural pop-ups could be held.
They hope it could become a global platform to show Britain is leading the way in technology.
Designer from 00:/ Alastair Parvin said the proposals were gathering momentum: “The whole genesis behind this is there’s this incredible boom happening in the tech industry but it’s invisible - this is about building an icon which will articulate that and make it a part of city life.
“We’ve got a few investors interested but our real interest is making sure its done in such a way it will be a community interest venture, it’s not about making a huge amount of profit,” he added.
“There are issues of land ownership, and for TfL it’s such an important transport exchange - but anything has to be a really big improvement.
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They are in conversation with TfL and Hackney and Islington councils to flag up support for the project.
“There are a lot of different hpyerboles, but the support for this is incredible, as time goes on it’s becoming more plausible, we’re very optimistic about it and very surprised.”