New neighbours for London landmarks

Samy Mansour
Sunday 05 Oct 2008

Potters’ Fields Park and Blossom Square join Tower Bridge and the Tower of London

Two of London’s most recognizable historical sites are set to have two smaller neighbours with Potters’ Fields Park and Blossom Square. Potters’ Fields Park occupies a unique position within London in juxtaposition to the historic context of Tower Bridge and the Tower of London. It is one of the most significant green spaces on the South Bank of the Thames within the London metropolitan area.

The client’s brief was to design a pair of gateway pavilions at two separate entrances to the Park. Parkside pavilion, situated to the South of City Hall, accommodates a new restaurant and public conveniences. The second pavilion, Blossom Square rests in the shadow of Tower Bridge and the proposed site for the new Berkeley Homes development, adjacent to the Queens Walk, provides retail facilities, a sheltered seating area and park store.

The designs for the two pavilions set out to provide a human scale of architecture in contrast to their larger neighbours. Their carved form is derived from movement and view analysis, ensuring that the buildings act as both gateway and place to rest, without becoming an obstacle to the significant pedestrian flows and views.

The design for the Parkside pavilion seeks to add an emotional quality to the site by using charred timber as a reference to the bombed areas in World War II. The charring of the timber was achieved by applying intense flame using an industrial blowtorch, followed by washing down to remove carbon residue and allowing the timber to cool and settle, before a final flame application.

Occupying the foreground to the Tower of London UNESCO World Heritage site and the Grade 1 Listed Tower Bridge, Blossom Square pavilion is clad in calcified timber which blends in to the stone of Tower Bridge and integrates a green roof to encourage biodiversity within the park.

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