Project: A temporary pavilion proposed on the site of the proposed Leadenhall Street building (The Cheese Grater) by RSH for British land.
Client: British Land
Status: long listed Competition Entry
The brief for this project called for a temporary intervention on a new tower site in the city to bridge a holding period during the construction phase.
Our veiw is that whilst the interventions to the empty site may only be temporary, it is a clear opportunity to acknowledge the importance of the site in the wider context including the iconic buildings and structures which sit close by, and which identify this locality as a global financial centre. This is also an opportunity to make a strong statement about forward thinking architecture and its ability to transform cities on a cultural and financial level. The juxtaposition here is thus interesting when one considers the commercial value of the adjacent structures - both in capital value of the buildings themselves as well as the activity within - in contrast to this empty site which is apparently devoid of any contribution.
However the emptiness is itself a powerful event introducing a curious contrast in scale both human and urban. This is emphasised by a large concave structure encapsulating the site hosting one single activity, in stark contrast to the prime function of this area of the City of London.
The structure is built from temporary construction materials which would be recycled for the tower building.
A large portion of the available space on the site is filled to grade extending the area of external space and facilitating routes through and around the site with diagonal connections from Bishopsgate and St Helens to Leadenhall, thus freeing up the public realm currently locked down by the hoarding, whilst encouraging shortcuts and increasing the potential for an activated landscape.
From above, the site is spectacular; a simmering golden scoop, a calming backdrop to the hustle and bustle of the city surroundings both external and internal. At street level, a perforated canopy creates areas to dwell and pause.