A sculptural new hospitality destination
We were invited to develop a concept for a new signature development at a sensitive and high profile central London site.
The concept for the building is to create an inspiring new sculptural landmark at this unique city location. Part building, part artwork, the Waterfall pavilion forms a spectacular intervention inspired by the tradition of water feature and fountains marking key urban locations.
A collection of mysterious cascade-like apparitions rise from the earth, seemingly suspended mid-air. Like a series of frozen waterfalls, the gently shimmering intervention aims to evoke both a sense of awe but also brings a sense of tranquillity to the bustling site surrounded by traffic. By taking a strongly metaphorical approach, the concept seeks to move people’s emotions and bring out the senses, with the intention of creating a place which is enjoyed and loved as a striking but gently new icon that captures the imagination.
The intriguingly ethereal and playful form of the pavilion creates a distinctive and unique destination for visitors whilst also providing visual delight and enjoyment for passers-by. The screened façade catches the lights and reflects the surrounding trees and sky, so is ever-changing in appearance.
The variations in texture and depth, light and shadow create an intriguing destination for people to discover and explore. The approach also takes into consideration the sensitivity required with respect to the historic setting, so creates a complementary landmark rather than competing, through delicate and intriguing means.
The outer layer of the pavilion is formed of a dense screen of translucent acrylic elements, hung from the façade not only to give the appearance of floating volumes, but primarily to provide a protective acoustic buffer to the internal spaces. In this way, the pavilion is conceived as having an inner world that is cocooned in an outer layer to provide an atmosphere of peace and calm.
REVEALING A HIDDEN ASSET
By bringing a strong identity and “front” to a currently forgotten space, the pavilion activates the existing public amenity of the landscaped areas adjacent and draws attention to the presence of the existing fountains. This reverses the current “no man’s land” situation, where the island is often used for antisocial activities due to the unusual condition of being a lost, un-overlooked space in the heart of London.