This project was based on a collaboration with the artist Henna Nadeem, who is concerned with the importance of pattern in visual experience. The original commission was for a work of art to stand in a green square at the heart of a rebuilt housing estate in London’s East End. In contrast, the structure that was eventually built is intended to encourage social interaction by providing a sheltered space where local residents can meet and parents can sit and read with their children. Despite this change in emphasis, an artistic dimension is still apparent in the interaction between the various elements of the pavilion and their relationship to the landscape.
In response to the landscape setting, the memory of London Plane trees is evoked by the laser-cut apertures in the corten steel roof, which are based on Nadeem’s studies of the shadow pattern created by the leaves of the trees. The roof is supported by irregularly spaced columns, like the trunks of trees in a forest, with small stainless steel tables and benches below. Occupying a central position in the square, the pavilion emphasises the importance of this space to the local community, and its circular form addresses the surrounding houses on an equal basis.