A vibrant public space on the northern city fringe.
This site is located in a well known square on the edge of the city of London. The client is the London Borough of Islington. This proposal introduces a new lightweight structure spanning across a brownfield strip of land in the centre of Finsbury Square. The existing buildings either side of the square will be replaced by two single storey pavilions in the same locations. A new glulam engineered timber structure clad in ETFE pillows will enclose the two buildings and the spaces around them, creating a large triple height internal space. This creates a flexible, multi-functional space in between the buildings and facilitates the use of the roofs for additional seating areas or viewing galleries. The space can be used in a variety of ways such as a restaurant, performances space or market.
The glulam timber structure will span the full width of the site, creating a large open volume of space without the requirement for internal columns. The only fixed elements within the structure are the two single storey buildings which provide a large kitchen, WCs and storage. This allows the rest of the space to be arranged in a multitude of ways according to different uses. The external skin of the building consists of ETFE pillows, which will allow light transmission levels of up to 95% and provides good thermal and acoustic performance. In order to prevent solar gain during the summer, cross ventilation is provided through large high level vents in the east and west facades.
In addition the central roof structure and ground floor facade can fully open to provide further ventilation if required. The central roof structure can slide back to allow the central space to be opened onto the existing lawns either side. At ground floor allow the entire building perimeter can also open using translucent roller shutters. This allows the space to expand into the surrounding square when required.