Trinity Square, Finchley

Written by Joe Dickeson Board Director

A former cinema turned furniture store occupied this restricted site which is bounded closely on three sides by busy streets and on the fourth by private houses and gardens. Acoustic reduction of road noise and ‘overlooking’ challenges caused by proximity of existing housing at the rear had a major influence on the final design from wall constructions and services to window construction and fenestration.

We worked, initially on a Design Build basis with the main contractor and direct for the Client, to develop the design comprising four Class B1 office units on the ground floor and sixty affordable rented and shared ownership flats over four upper floors in three separately accessed cores. Initial review of the approved scheme led to a large number of changes which required supplementary planning approval, which was successfully achieved. Also, to discharge multiple planning conditions, we worked with structural, M&E, acoustic, sustainability and other consultants to produce the relevant submissions. London Housing Design Guide, Lifetime Homes and BREEAM also had significant influence on the final designs.

It was established, at an early stage, that a reinforced concrete frame with lightweight infill panels would be the most appropriate structure to achieve the relatively low floor to floor heights which the approved planning scheme was based on and provide adequate ceiling voids for services. The frame also provided for a landscaped podium deck over a covered parking garage. A mixture of facing brick, brass and zinc facades combined with grey aluminium windows, shopfronts and entrance doors gives a clean crisp, yet luxurious, finish to the development.


  • Housing
  • Retail
  • Office & Industrial Workplace


Catalyst Housing


Finchley, London Borough of Barnet


The external envelope consists of hundreds of interfacing surfaces of differing materials and constructions forming the upper floors alone. The co-ordinated design of these elements and their associated intersections proved a particular challenge. Difficulty in obtaining Local Authority responses, changes in Planning personnel and late input from the main contractor in respect of sub-contractor and supplier information all provided challenges which we dealt with successfully. A forced changed to a second main contractor half way through the build, the need for value engineering and other design changes demanded by the Client were also successfully navigated.

The Team

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