The design for the new Pavilion at Marble Arch roundabout emerged from an understanding of the site’s landscape character and the unique brief. The interim development provides a café, event, exhibition and theatre spaces within a poorly-used area on the western side of Marble Arch Island in central London to regenerate the area during nearby development works at Marble Arch Place.
Part of Hyde Park and the Royal Parks Conservation Area, the project will have expansive views over Marble Arch and Hyde Park and create a new permeable and landscaped public route that reconnects Oxford Street to Hyde Park.
Won through design competition, our proposal builds upon the site’s rich, historic landscape character. At ground floor level, a new café will create an intimate, landscaped internal and external environment which will help reinforce the park’s ‘edge’ condition.
The concept behind the design of the pavilion is one that also seeks to provide a building which emulates the sense of the thick informal band of parkland that once defined Hyde Park. The concept retains the sense of a ‘grazing plane’ as a zone within the landscape that maintain views through the site.
The proposal features tiered planted canopies that form the roof to the pavilion, held like branches of a tree. The use of mirror allows sunlight to ricochet through the building similar to the way that tree canopies provide areas of light and shade, and openness and enclosure. The columns that support the canopies will be like trunks of trees grouped together to form thickets of varied levels of density.
A new boardwalk weaves across the site and will create enhanced pedestrian connections across the island forming a gateway to the park. This will increase permeability at ground level across the Marble Arch island and provide a more direct route from Edgware Road and Oxford Street to Hyde Park.
New trees planted in mirror-clad, steel boxes will be installed at different heights around the pavilions to give the sense that you are entering an immersive parkland experience. The trees, supported on white steel columns, will appear to float above the surrounding landscape.
The exhibition space will cantilever over Marble Arch pond and provide a visual gateway for the reconnection of Oxford Street and Hyde Park.
Materially, the building is conceived as a simple glazed pavilion. The tree-like internal columns support a series of planted roof troughs with mirror-clad fascias to help soften the building’s impact. An inventive use of materials allows for a design that feels rooted in its rich, historic, urban context.
- Client: Almacantar Marble Arch Construction Ltd.
- Date: 2017
- Contract Value: Confidential
- Design Team: Nick Hayhurst, Jon Nicholls, Holly Crosbie, Tony Berongoy
- Landscape Design: Howard Miller Design
- Structural Engineer: Waterman Structures
- Services Engineer: Long and Partners
- Quantity Surveyor: Core Five
- Townscape and Heritage: Peter Stewart Consultancy
- Access and Servicing: Steer Davies Gleave
- Fire Engineer: Jeremy Gardner Associates
- Arboriculture: Tree: Fabrik
- Visualisations: Miller Hare (Stage 4) Studio Archetype: Architectural Imaging + Animation (Stage 0)
- Historic Images: City of London Corporation