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Hopkins Architects

AJ Kiosk submission: Ken Hood, partner, and Wojciech Omiljanowski, architectural assistant, Hopkins Architects

Our starting point was to consider the needs of a kiosk for London: in winter a space to shelter from the British rain, in summer a water dispenser and shelter from the sun.

From the briefing notes, lectures and trip to Istanbul, we had an understanding of the history and context of the traditional Turkish kiosk. From factory visits we had an understanding of the process of manufacture of ceramic products. From discussions with engineers we had an understanding of the potential of ceramics. Inspiration and influence came from Penrose tile patterns, traditional Turkish ceramics and decorative, corbelled muqarnas.We arrived at a simple form, which flows out of the ground and swells up to form an elegant, ceramic shelter. Precast concrete provides the structure, which is then skinned in shiny white porcelain.

The six-sided tiles of the main conical concave curve have a constant horizontal pitch and the pitch varies vertically. The top of the kiosk is open and grilled as a constant water collector. Slip-cast segments are applied to the shaft for the water-related parts of the kiosk: the dispensing ring with push-button spouts, the circular basin and the drip ring around the top edge.

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Concept development sketch

The inside of basin is coloured red and blue as a reflection of the flags of Turkey and Britain and the links between the two countries, which the Tiled Kiosk event represents. Rather than simply import patterned Turkish ceramics into the London urban environment, we have instead elected to use the white-faceted geometry of the tiling to reflect these two merging colours in interesting and shifting patterns as you move around the kiosk on the underside of the curved form.

The kiosk has a bold, curvaceous geometry, which is immediately identifiable; and in line with its benevolent civic purpose its proportions are appropriately generous. The kiosk aims to make the dispensing of water a celebrated urban event, which will draw people together and add drama to the public realm in London.

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