Features: Elephant Park Pavilion
Constructed of cross-laminated timber, The Tree House pavilion is the centrepiece of Elephant Park in south London, part of a wider regeneration scheme led by Lendlease.
"We and the architects wanted to avoid the typical approach: a greenwash construction, where a steel frame, is clad in wood. Instead, the structure was to be intrinsically friendly, open and legible and, as far as possible, unclad. The walls, and roof are formed with CLT panels that are left exposed in the soffit and internal spaces, but these aren’t, in themselves, stiff enough nor strong enough to create the long spans and cantilevers that give the building the sense of floating in the air that Bell Phillips had envisioned.
Concerns about potential overcrowding on the top deck lead to a taller stronger balustrade than we would normally use but gave the opportunity to make this act, not only as a balustrade but as a primary structural element, supporting the long spans and projecting cantilevers. We developed a distribution of the diagonal bars, gently leaning forward and backwards around the perimeter that formed the strutting of a truss, geometrically locking step with regular triangular braces. We always strive for succinct, light solutions and are happy that here the structure exists as a part of the building", says our co-founder and director Steve Webb.