Pillar of the community
How the concrete pillars and arches of Turnpike House, an icon of rock history, have been restored to their former glory
The council’s Borough Improvement Programme brings new and old together by using contributions from new developments to pay for improvements to existing properties and amenities. “Whether it’s supporting local artists by commissioning art or improving safety with new traffic crossings, it all makes a difference,” says project manager Gerard Coll. “New developments can concern residents, so it’s important we give something back.”
One of the biggest recent projects was the restoration of the entrance to Turnpike House, which was built in 1965. Standing 20 storeys tall with striking wide, concrete arches that appear to hold it up, over the years, the building has played a part in rock music history. The tower block was used to film the opening of Pink Floyd’s iconic music video, Another Brick in the Wall Part Two, and served as the inspiration for St Etienne’s album, Tales from Turnpike House.
The work has restored the entrance to how it first looked, right down to a reproduction of the original signage.
“The residents are extremely happy with the outcome,” says Penny Seal, member of the tenants and residents’ association. “The arch has been restored to its former glory.”
To find out what’s happening in your area, visit the Islington Council website.