suckerPUNCH: describe your project.
EASTON+COMBS: The Aldgate Landmark Pavilion is a temporary entrance marker to the City of London in celebration of the 2012 Olympics. The site’s importance is that it is the location of the former city gate, the Aldgate, a historically significant point of entry to the city of London that was famous for being open to all social classes when the other city gates were reserved for various elites. The resonance of the history of the site serves as a gesture to the spirit of the 2012 Olympics in a bustling area of contemporary London by providing the venue of a temporary landmark.
This design seeks to infuse the values public space in the continuity of the fabric of the city. Like a fountain of colored cast light, the pavilion provides a diaphanous boundary and shell for suggestions of public space occupation for the pedestrian passer by. Similarly the rotational geometry and the sequenced visual porosity create an animated city event, a dynamic object of temporary folly and demarcation for the frenetic street and vehicular activity at the site. The architectural expression occupies a zone of indeterminacy and is careful not to declare itself a monument. By being an object, a shell, a screen the multilayered translucent effects seek to ignite a playful speculation that is neither committed to collective memory (memorialization) nor predetermined to narrow occupational use.
sP: what or who influenced this project?
E+C: Primarily our research into lightweight inexpensive building strategies which we have been developing since LUX NOVA, our 2010 PS1 finalist competition entry. We have been interested in the history of temporary buildings since delving into that research. Everything from the Serpentine Pavilions of the last decade to the migrating carnival architecture has been influential in this work. There is another fascination with chapel typologies in the context of the urban fabric. In many ways the inversion of the exterior skin to the interior – forming a skyward aperture – is a reference to the intimate domed chapels in the urban context. Not a serious effort to reference that history, just an interest to explore a wider array of architectural types that can access a notion of intimate collectivity. Also the framed, repetitive centripetal order of the shell’s members is both an idea about the unfinished nature of architecture – or perhaps the echo of a future ruin – as well as compounding the sense of spectacle and the aesthetic of surveillance in the city, resulting in a kind of X-Ray architecture.
sP: what were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
E+C:Listing to Lady Gaga, too much really. It’s reminding me of that 80’s Euro-disco with some contemporary reprocessing.
sP: whose work is currently on your radar?
E+C:Currently in radar overload.