Hornsey Road Baths
Landmark Victorian baths building now redeveloped into flats.
This building has a special place in London's history, when built in 1895, it was the largest complex of its kind in the UK, with four swimming pools, 125 slipper baths, a public washhouse and laundry.
Today, the listed gatehouse entrance, adorned by a new delightful neon diving lady sign, still turns the heads of passers-by.
The old baths closed in 1991 and fell into dereliction but this historic site has risen from the ashes to become a dashing scheme of 212 homes, a nursery and community space plus 40,000sq ft of new offices for Islington council.
If the gatehouse provides an impressive sense of arrival, the glass atrium — formerly the 80ft-high Victorian boiler chimney, now encased in glass as a lobby entrance to new apartment blocks at the rear of the development — is the equivalent of a unique art installation. It dissects and towers over the new flats and has been transformed into a beacon of light by clever illumination. Apartments look out over a tree-lined courtyard and manicured gardens and house-hunters can either buy or rent.
After damage during the blitz in 1941 and as a result the main baths were extensively rebuilt during the 1960's, and eventually closed in 1991 due to lack of funds.