Retail and Commercial

Second Chance

Second Chance

Islington, London

Second Chance, a bustling and successful charity shop located on the Archway gyratory, is one of a number of retail businesses that has received a much-needed makeover as part of Islington’s £2m regeneration programme.





Second Chance is a charity shop, based in Archway, famous for its inventive window displays. Owned by the adjacent church, the project formed part of a grant programme by the London Borough of Islington to revitalise and regenerate the high street. This particular project included a new interior fitout, full re-servicing and refurbished shopfront.


Lyndon Goode worked closely with the church to ensure that the project would meet the grant requirements set out by Islington. The practice tendered the project to multiple contractors to obtain best value, with the selected tender significantly less than the average. The studio's detailed specification and drawing set helped to make sure that quality would not be compromised, and that the contractor delivered the design correctly.


The design approach referenced the shop's 'recycle' philosophy, making much use of salvaged materials in the interior fitout. This included adapting a number of scaffold poles, kept by the church in the basement, for use as retail stands. Shop manager Barry Brundage likes to think outside the box with his merchandising: “Usually with charity shops you think of little old ladies, but really there should be more to it than that”.



Existing Building

Historic photograph of Second Chance, showing Maxwells Corner in Archway
Photograph showing the shop interior of Second Chance prior to refurbishment
Photograph showing the shop interior of Second Chance prior to refurbishment, with Barry Brundage.
Photograph showing the existing shop frontage prior to refurbishment by Lyndon Goode Architects

Located on the Archway roundabout, the retail unit occupies the ground floor wing of the historic 'Maxwell's Corner' building, home of the Archway Methodist Church. As with many of the shop fronts along adjacent Junction Road, the charity shop frontage was in need of an up-lift. The original brass fenestration was still present, but the original main entrance door had been replaced with a crude aluminium system, detracting from the overall elevation.


As a first step, the team looked to historical photographs of the building, documented in a 1904 survey by Ernest Milner as part of the construction of the Northern Line. Milner’s images, including that shown left, enabled Lyndon Goode to accurately date the fabric of the building, drawing distinction between original and more recent additions. Working with Islington's conservation team, the practice subsequently drew up proposals to retain and refurbish where possible, including the brass shopfronts and surrounding brickwork.


The shopfront windows are fairly typical of the 1930s period, made from brass extruded profiles, which originally would have been “toned and waxed” to a dark bronze colour. Over time, due to neglect, the finish has deepened and developed a patina including traces of green verdigris.

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Design Approach

The project aimed to restore the shopfront’s dark bronze patina, achieved by stripping it back to bare metal and applying a new patinated finish. This was to be matched with new cladding to the stallrisers and signage to achieve a unified aspect across the various elements of the shopfront.


The new metal entrance door was to be painted a dark colour to complement the bronze shopfront. Reclaimed timber panelling was proposed to the signage boards above the shopfronts, as an expression of Second Chance’s recycling of previously owned and vintage goods and in keeping with the spirit of the shop.


Traditional manual awnings were proposed to the head of the windows, in order to provide shading to the south facing windows during the summer and protection from the rain. The division of the signage to the fascia and the awnings into two bays restores the original rhythm of the historical building’s façade, while unifying the aesthetics of the shopfront.


Internally, the team made use of reclaimed, salvaged and recycled materials, assembled in imaginative, inexpensive and innovative ways, in keeping with the shop's philosophy and retail offer.



Completed Project

Photograph showing timber ladders being used to hang lights and other services
Photograph of scaffold poles adapted to be used for retail display units

The renovation of Second Chance was completed in 2014, one of a number of independent business revamps to be carried out by Lyndon Goode as part of Islington’s £2 million regeneration scheme.


The clarity of the front elevation, which for years had been blighted with ad hoc additions, was greatly improved, and helped 'lift' the entire building facade. The use of recycled materials internally enabled the fitout to be delivered within the church's cost plan, as well as providing a point of interest to passers-by.


Refurbishment was carried out under strict time conditions and within a tight budget – as with all of Lyndon Goode’s high-street renovations. The practice tendered the project to multiple fitout contractors to obtain best value for the charity, with the selected tender significantly lower than others received. The studio's detailed specification and drawing set helped to make sure that quality would not be compromised, and that the contractor delivered the design correctly. Customers were delighted with the result.


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