Brutal tower will sparkle while Archway basks in the festive glow

Archway is set to sparkle this Christmas

Archway is set to sparkle this Christmas - Credit: Archant

A landmark year for the much-maligned Archway tower just got even better with the announcement that the 16-storey monolith will have Christmas lights for the first time.

Archway Tower during the Paradise Lost performance

Archway Tower during the Paradise Lost performance - Credit: Archant

From next Friday, the huge black building will be resplendent with festive joy as 20 pentor stars light up around the base, along with ice crystals and a magenta pink glow illuminating the otherwise dreary block.

Never the most popular of buildings, the 195-ft tower was built in 1963 but has been largely empty since it was vacated by the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) in 2011.

Kate Calvert, chair of the Better Archway Forum, said: “This is great news. The Christmas lights on the methodist church in Archway have always been a highlight at Christmas and if that’s mirrored by other buildings, then that’s good. Archway will certainly look nicer with more sparkling lights, and they will help this brutalist building look a bit less brutal.”

As well as basking in it’s new-found yuletide glory, in October the tower was the scene of a daring show by aerial theatre company Scarabeus which saw performers scale the tower’s heights while attached to the building by wires.

Then on Wednesday from 3pm to 8pm a consultation will be held in the tower by Essential Living, who plan to make use of new Government legislation to turn the old offices into flats, despite concerns from Islington Council that the homes will be too small.

Ms Calvert said: “It’s much better for the tower to be used than not used, although the new laws aren’t the most helpful in ensuring it is done in the right way.”

Most Read

The display, funded by Lazari Investmetns and Essential Living which own the tower, is part of the Archway’s biggest ever Christmas lights switch on, featuring illuminations in street lamps and trees in Junction and Holloway Roads.

There will also be a gala party at the switch-on, with Father Christmas, carols, food, drink and children’s entertainment.

Cllr Kaya Makarau Schwartz, Junction ward councillor, said: “This year, Archway will sparkle with the most Christmas lights we’ve ever had. It’s a chance for everyone in the local area to enjoy some festive cheer on this great family-friendly occasion.”