News > What Architects do: EGAS Girls Tour of the Angel Building

10 March 2015

Following Kristal, Ada, Emily and Beatriz' visit to the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School last week, Jyoti took a small group of their students on a tour of the Angel Building. This tour was intended to show what Architects do and how they make a difference.

The Angel building is one of the best examples of adaptive reuse and sustainable initiatives in London. Located in the heart of Islington, the outdated 1980’s commercial building was acquired for refurbishment by Derwent London and re-designed by Architects Allford Hall Monaghan Morris with Veretec acting as Executive Architects. Works included the conversion of an unused courtyard in the building into welcoming top lit atrium, which now incorporates the  reception and offers relaxed breakout space and an added sky terrace which provides 360˚ degree views of London. The building also showcases a variety of materials as well as beautiful artworks. 

The tour began with an explanation of how the space was reused and the importance of scale and natural light. Girls were mesmerised by the scale of the atrium and sculpture and moreover to see a workplace can be a relaxed and fun place too. Lydia Morrow who was a project manager during the Angel building refurbishment explained various sustainable and energy saving features of the building. A small scale model of the building provided an holistic understanding of the redesign. The students had the opportunity to do some sketching, some chose the view from the sky terrace identifying landmarks such as The Gherkin, Shard and St Pauls, others favoured the atrium and central sculpture.

The girls enjoyed the opportunity to visit the building and see first-hand how a building can be updated and improved. Quotes from the girls included: ‘Spacious’ ‘luxurious’ ‘open’ ‘calm’. ‘It’s cool to have such a relaxing office’.

It was an enriching experience for us to witness the curiosity in these young women, maybe one or more of whom will be future Architects. Moreover being surrounded by happy faces made us conscious of how users and visitors see and feel in the space and in this case the vision and care of an Architect and the associated team was well appreciated; that is the biggest reward of any design. 

Jyoti Soni Dhanak

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