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Jan Kattein completes ‘hypnotic’ pavilion

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Islington-based Jan Kattein Architects has completed this pavilion in Potters Fields near London Bridge

Built in collaboration with architecture and design outfit Mill & Jones for the London Bridge Live Arts Festival, the structure features a series of modules topped with cones made from jute.

Openings in the top of the cones sway in the breeze, creating what the practice described as a ‘hypnotic tunnel into the clouds’.

The pavilion sits in Potters Fields between Tower Bridge and Foster + Partners’ City Hall and was designed around the festival’s them of ‘exchange’.

The festival runs until Wednesday (26 August).


The architect’s view

At ground level, a stepping landscape of plywood furniture elements creates space for performance, workshops and wonder.

This year’s Live Arts’ theme of ‘exchange’ has informed the design concept and the reality of the pavilion in use. Natural forces, wind and sun, are an important component in the experience of the pavilion. The pavilion sets a deliberate contrast to the surrounding built heritage. It uses architecture as a tool to engage with the transient qualities of the site, the weather and the ebb and flow of human activity in the city.

Urbanism works best where it can be perceived at a variety of scales. From across the river the pavilion will act as a temporary landmark for the festival with a flourish of colour contrasting the monochrome skyline. At close range an honesty of materials, visible jointing and the marks from the making process engage the audience through a tactile and sensory experience.

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