It was designed by Patrick Hodgkinson in the mid-1960s, based on studies by Leslie Martin. It was initially planned as a private development at a time when private, mixed-use development in the UK was rare. Building started in 1967 and was completed in 1972, though the building fell some way short of its intended size. The original plan extended up to Euston Road but the Ministry of Defencewould not release the site of a building they leased for use by the Territorial Army (and that still stands next to the Centre today).
After failing to attract sufficient private buyers on time, the residential section was leased to the London Borough of Camden for use as council housing, while the developer retained ownership of the structure and shopping areas.The exterior of the building was never painted because the Borough could not afford to complete work on the building after they took control. In Hodgkinson's design, the blocks would have been painted cream, a shade typical of the Georgian period, as a homage to the terraced houses that previously stood on the site and those that still surround it.