Design house ACME’s director Friedrich Ludewig drew on the inspiration of Alpine architecture and nearby Olympic Park to guide the design of The Pavilion at Stratford Square in east London, a gently undulating pavilion made using cross-laminated timber (CLT) construction.
The building has two interior levels inside a glass facade. The levels are occupied by Haugen, a delicatessen, brasserie and café inspired by Alpine dining, with an interior design concept created by award-winning creative studio Afroditi Krassa. The ground floor also features an information area, which directs visitors to sights such as the nearby mobile orchard display The Hothouse by Studio Weave and garden designer Tom Massey.
Outside, a comfortable tiered and partially covered seating area in the shape of an outdoor amphitheater allows visitors to rest or view public events. Water fountains and an art piece by Troika decorate the open square in front of The Pavilion. The timber structure of the pavilion is lightweight thanks to CLT and glue-laminated timber panels that carry low embodied carbon.
The architect worked on the master plan for Olympic Park and nearby bridges 15 years ago and was familiar with the area’s flow and needs. The Pavilion needed to be a building that “says hello from all sides,” Ludewig said. This meant eschewing a flat roof to enhance The Pavilion’s views through drops and vantage points. A rooftop garden conceptually connects to the nearby park and site’s origins.
The building’s outdoor steps comprise several broad staircase-style seating areas that connect with other terraces, seating areas and native wildflower gardens, which sit beneath a beautifully curved roof. The light weight of the structure determined construction methods and materials, which are all wood except for glass windows and a shallow concrete foundation. The ease and relaxed feel of using a space with so much exterior functionality fits the project’s purpose of creating a resting place for passersby.
Images via © Hufton + Crow