- Location London, UK
- Status Built
- Service Architecture
- Area 325m²/3,500ft²
- Client The City of London
Portsoken Pavilion is our second pavilion for the City of London. It forms the heart of the newly created, award-winning Aldgate Square, which has transformed the former chaotic Aldgate gyratory into a welcoming green space for the public.
The monocoque steel structure touches down at only three points, with sliding glass walls set between them. The pavilion’s asymmetry complements the form of our first pavilion for the City – the information centre at St Paul’s Cathedral – while its Corten cladding panels will oxidise and eventually turn orange and brown, complementing the listed school and church on either side of the square.
The glazed elevations face the key pedestrian approaches to the square and provide clear views through the structure. Internally, the bands of external cladding are mirrored on the soffit, with layered geometric white laminate timber panels. Two large rooflights draw light into the building. At lower ground level, we repurposed an old pedestrian subway to accommodate public toilets and back-of-house facilities. The subway tunnels also provide passive heating and cooling, which is topped up with low-energy variable refrigerant flow units.
The pavilion is operated by Kahaila, a social enterprise café, and also has potential to host meetings, exhibitions, yoga classes and more. In 2019 the building was shortlisted for the Civic Trust and New London Awards.
Being part of this effort to create a new public space for London – one that takes back space from the road and is run by a community enterprise – is brilliant.