Part of the regeneration of the site of a former railway repair works, a medium-rise block of apartments separates the new quarter and its public open spaces from a busy railway line. The north elevation is treated as an acoustic barrier to the railway, while the south frontages open up with a regular rhythm of private gardens and balconies, and are topped by roof terraces. The meandering apartment block enwraps an open landscaped area and also the multi-purpose pavilion at the heart of the community. The golden pavilion, with its irregular pentagonal plan form, is overlooked by every apartment – and from all angles, including from above. The careful design and detailing of its facades and roof, all clad in an alloy of copper, were therefore critical to its success.
A GOLDEN GEM
Conceived as a golden gem, all the facets of the pavilion’s exterior are covered by rhomboidal copper alloy cassettes with concealed joints and fixings to provide flat surfaces. They are set out on a diagonal grid that continues around corners with a deceptive simplicity. Similarly, edges around glazed openings are crisp, clean and apparently devoid of cover-strips, flashings, or other additions – the result of clever detailing and expert installation.
For example, conventional window cills have been replaced by a clean edge to the copper-alloy cladding concealing a small gutter to remove rainwater. While the rhomboidal cassettes provide water-proof facades, on the almost-flat roof they sit over a waterproof membrane with concealed edge gutters, internal down-pipes and external overflow for water management. Introducing three roof-lights, each a different design, proved particularly challenging.