London Live Arts Pavilion

During the Live Arts Festival 2015, our temporary workshop and performance space augmented the experience of the weather.

Architecture is not a solitary pursuit: it relies on teamwork, collaboration and dialogue. A shared interest in the use of making as a form of urban practice led JKA to join forces on the design of a temporary events pavilion on the south bank of the Thames with Mill & Jones.

Potters Field is wedged between historic Tower Bridge and the GLA headquarters, two buildings which project permanence and dependability. We feel that natural forces, wind and sun, are just as important to our experience of the city. The pavilion set a deliberate contrast to its surroundings by using architecture as a tool to engage with the transient qualities of the site, the weather and the ebb and flow of human activity.

Drawing on the idea of the building as a society of spaces, our design created a cluster of inhabitable modules topped by polychrome jute cones that gently sway in the summer breeze. From below, the effect is one of a hypnotic tunnel up into the clouds. At ground level, a stepping landscape of plywood furniture elements creates space for performance, workshops and wonder.

Urbanism works best where it can be perceived at a variety of scales. From across the river the pavilion acted as a temporary landmark for the festival with a flourish of colour contrasting the monochrome skyline. At close range an honest expression of materials, visible jointing and the marks from the making process engaged the audience in a tactile and sensory experience.

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