Public Realm
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Promenade of Light

Old Street Regeneration, 2006

Architect: Tonkin Liu
Client: London Borough of Islington & TFL
Location: London, UK
Budget: £ 1.5 million
Size: 3,500 Sq. meters
Engineer: Atelier One
Contractor: Gabriel’s
RIBA Award 2007
RIBA Urban Space Award 

Promenade of Light is an urban redevelopment, selected out of 75 entries as the winner of a competition launched by the Architectural Foundation in 2002.

The brief called for the improvement of a grassed area in front of the shops, with strategic proposals for the areas surrounding the Old Street Roundabout.  

Walking alone, ideas unfold, walking together, relationships grow. The Promenade Of Light is a celebration of walking, and of the community. On the site 18 new trees take root along a raised stone promenade; a canvas for dappled light and shadows. Around the trees sit stone rings, some big, some small, some in-between. They protect the trees and mark them as special. 

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a promenade is a celebration, 
of walking and of community,
each tree offers a space, 
and celebrates diversity

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The rings are benches, planters and counters for the micro-communities that cluster under the shelter of the trees. Commuters, shoppers, couriers, school children, elderly, office workers, families. Each inhabit different sections of the promenade at different times of day. Their pace range from the very fast to the very still, from rushing to waiting. At dusk, clusters of light – narrow to wide, white to yellow - turn on one by one. 

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