Workplace Without Boundaries Public Realm
Public Realm IQL Stratford
YOU&ME and Cooke Fawcett Architects are collaborating on a family of public realm pavilions at International Quarter Stratford, London.
This proposal focuses on the idea of domesticity and ‘working from home’. They create a series of playful, fun and engaging house-like forms, which are strategically located around the IQL public realm, offering escapism, tranquility and play, whilst at the same time enhancing the proposed landscaping works by Gustafson Porter + Bowman. Key to the proposal is the intention of providing spaces which enable a more direct experience of the landscape and IQL gardens.
FAMILY OF HOUSE COMPONENTS:
The houses are a series of modular components of various sizes and scales (S, M and L) which inhabit the landscape in a number of configurations and orientations to form the four different components: the individual seating (S), the collaborative working pods (M), the Living Room (M) and the Outside Office (L). The universally recognizable pitched roof house form is subverted, turned on its side and upside down, elevated, its structure exposed or covered to suit the various uses and programmes around the site: bookable meeting rooms, wifi spots, lounging and seating, outdoor gathering and events, socialising, relaxing, working... The houses are softwood glulam timber structures clad in glossy powder coated metal shingles. They have varying levels of exposure - some are internal treated environments, some open-sided and uninsulated, and some are left as exposed pergola structures to encourage plant growth.
COLOURS RESPOND TO LANDSCAPE:
The houses are immersed in the landscape, having an inside / outside space quality so that it feels that you are part of the gardens when inside them. They form an integral part of the proposed landscape, their colours being derived from the variety of accents and hues of the vegetation and foliage – greens, yellows, lavender and pinky tones. The houses become wayfinding elements through their colour coding and they act as landmark beacons around the IQL site, guiding people around different walking routes.
The amphitheatre, a venue for screenings and talks as well as a sheltered seating area, is the first of the public realm interventions to be built, with scheduled completion for late summer 2019. The structure responds to the change in contemporary work practices by embracing mobile technology and the new work-from-anywhere reality.
The 11m structure sits opposite the new British Council offices. Here the house form is turned on its side, forming a sheltered pitched canopy with tiered seating facing the new British Council gallery spaces. The structure is clad in glossy metal shingles which create a colourful gradient from leaf green to magenta, responding to the hues of the surrounding planting.
At the centre is a 7m collaborative timber table with swing out stools that playfully invite a range of uses from nearby office workers and the public. Surrounding the table are stepped pre-cast concrete plinths with ‘upholstered’ timber seat pads and traditional spindle back and arm rests in colourful metal. Exposed glulam timbers with a steel flitch plate act as the main structural ribs whilst also allowing for cosy seat niches where one can sit and look out through the large opening in the back wall. Integrated lighting, external sockets and USB charging points allow for outdoor working and night time use.
Photography by Peter Landers.