Architect Amin Taha puts 15 Clerkenwell Close up for sale with plans to fund a new project

Taha lives in a four-bedroom eco flat at the top of the building (Compton)
Taha lives in a four-bedroom eco flat at the top of the building (Compton)

Architect Amin Taha has put his home and offices at 15 Clerkenwell Close up for sale almost five years after he won an appeal against Islington council to prevent its demolition.

The RIBA-award winning building houses his four-bedroom eco flat alongside eight other apartments, with the offices of his studio Groupwork occupying the lower two floors.

Taha is saying goodbye to his Clerkenwell base to fund an ambitious new structure that would capitalise on advances in sustainable building design.

"We have a window to buy a site that would allow us to build something about twice the size," he told Homes & Property.

Compton (The 4,800 square foot office is asking for £3.2 million)
Compton (The 4,800 square foot office is asking for £3.2 million)

"Clerkenwell Close was conceived to prove net zero across its lifespan with lots of sequestrating timber, low embodied carbon stone and all-electric energy for heating and hot water.

"The sketches for the new site aim to prove carbon negative, so a superstructure of stone and timber with an oversupply of renewables that can be sold back to the grid or neighbours that cannot retrofit their properties."

The almost 4,800 square metre office space has been listed with Compton for £3.2 million, while Taha's apartment is being sold off-market by The Bespoke Agent.

In a video for Compton, Taha describes the building's construction as "a bit like Stonehenge – one block after the other".

The studio's soaring ceilings and raw, tactile finishes offer an antidote to the staid corporate office for design-minded businesses in search of new premises.

Its centrepiece is a glass box "suspended in mid-air" which is used as a conference room by the practice.

A "suspended" glass box makes a showstopper conference room (Compton)

But five years ago the British architect was in the midst of a battle with Islington council, who twice called in the wrecking ball after ruling that the building's fossil-studded limestone exoskeleton had not been adequately conveyed during the planning process.

An initial demolition order was issued in 2017, within months of the building's completion, but withdrawn following enquiries by a legal representative for Taha.

A further notice was issued in 2018 and subsequently quashed at appeal the following year after submitted documents were found detailing the stone samples to be used on the façade.

In the meantime the building won a RIBA award and went on to be nominated for the prestigious Stirling Prize in 2021 – two years after its future was secured.

"That was five years ago, so somewhat in the past. We’re happy here and will stay longer if we miss buying the new larger site," says Taha.

Taha has previously called his clash with Islington council "painful" and a "Pyrrhic victory".

The Bespoke Agent previously set an area record for a penthouse in Clerkenwell when they sold the building's top floor apartment for an equivalent of £1,363 per square foot.