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Amin Taha wins appeal to save his 15 Clerkenwell Close from demolition

United Kingdom Architecture News - Aug 16, 2019 - 04:32   852 views

Amin Taha wins appeal to save his 15 Clerkenwell Close from demolition

Amin Taha has won the appeal to save his RIBA award-winning 15 Clerkenwell Close building from the demolition, which had faced by the Islington Council last year. 

A report released by the planning office of the Islington Council stated that the building has been given a planning permission because the building "accords with the generality of what had previously been approved".

Previously, the Islington Council had stated that the building's finished exoskeleton doesn't match with the original plans submitted to the Council's portal in 2012. The architect went for an appeal following this decision. 

Amin Taha wins appeal to save his 15 Clerkenwell Close from demolition

The building received two enforcement notices, which one of them sent by the council in 2017, saying that the materials, design and height of the building were not matching with the original plans. 

In the first official notice, according to the Council Mr. Taha had used stone rather than brick for the facade. The façade of the building is built from raw limestone structural columns and beams, fossilised ammonite shells, coral and quartz extracted from a quarry in France.

After an inspector visited the building, the inspector confirmed the building's stone façade does not need to be replaced with brick, reported The Building Design

Amin Taha wins appeal to save his 15 Clerkenwell Close from demolition

But the inspector also instructed Taha to "look at the feasibility of making the façade more uniform by roughing up areas of smooth stone."

Amin Taha's practice Groupwork completed the seven-story building in 2017 in central London and Taha uses the building as his both office and own private house which contains eight apartments. 

Taha's case was a long-run legal battle between the architect and the local council dating back to 2016. Taha told BD "he was still digesting the 24-page report." 

He added: "The inspector said we need to see if it’s feasible to make the smooth stone rougher so it doesn’t contrast so much. We’ll see."

"I’m just relieved that we are not demolishing or refacing it in brick. I’m exhausted by it all. Legal advice is to pursue them for millions but I don’t want to spend another two or three years on this."

Amin Taha wins appeal to save his 15 Clerkenwell Close from demolition

"I want to say a big thank-you to everyone who supported us. There were 4,000 emails and letters from around the world to the planning inspector, Islington’s planning department and us." 

"We are so very grateful for everyone’s support and will aim to hold a thank you celebration at the office or the adjacent Three Kings pub, space permitting," he added.

Amin Taha wins appeal to save his 15 Clerkenwell Close from demolition

Many architects and others congratulated Amin Taha's office Groupwork over Twitter account. Charles Holland, Principle of Charles Holland Architects, Adam Nathaniel Furman, a London designer, Ben Derbyshire, RIBA president are among the architects sending their supports to Amin Taha.

Amin Taha runs his office with eight people on the top of the same building. 15 Clerkenwell Close won both RIBA London Award 2018 and RIBA National Award 2018. 

All images © Timothy Soar

> via Groupwork