The new single storey pavilion wraps around the base of the existing 10-storey 1960s Maths building on the Mile End Road in East London providing a new accessible entrance to the Maths building, which has a ground floor level 2 metres above external grade, and creates a “break out” space for the existing 120 seat lecture theatre, plus a social study space for Mathematics students.
The horizontality of the folding planes of the extension contrast with the vertical emphasis and proportion of the existing 1960s tower. As a narrative response to the academic department, a mathematical Penrose tiling pattern has been used to generate the folding form of the façade, which gently rises to the prominent corner of the campus entrance. This tiling is initially generated from two different forms – kites and darts – which through a series generative iterations forms a tessellated, non repeating pattern composed of only two rhombuses. As well as creating the geometry of the overall form through rhombus shaped glass rainscreen cladding panels, a smaller scale “sub-set” of Penrose tiling is applied to each glass panel as a graphic pattern, generating a variation in the visible scale of the mathematical geometry depending upon one’s proximity to the building.
Stafford Critchlow, Director, Wilkinson Eyre Architects, “This is a great opportunity to recast the western approach to the Queen Mary campus, to improve the staff and student experience of the Mathematics building and to raise the profile of the discipline within the University offer appropriate to its international reputation for research.”
The new building has been designed with sustainability in mind: low velocity fresh air drawn from the rear of the site is funnelled through a labyrinth in the 2 metre void beneath the building and filtered in through floor grilles. The sealed glazed façade and in situ concrete construction will buffer the new foyer from the noise and pollution of Mile End Road and provide passive cooling.
A full planning application has been submitted to Tower Hamlets.
As of 14 September 2009 the pavilion was given planning permission and is set to open in 2010.