Google+ London Architecture Blog: Week 32 13 Feature #25 Roca Gallery London

Friday, 9 August 2013

Week 32 13 Feature #25 Roca Gallery London

Roca Gallery London
Project Team: Zaha Hadid Architects, Buro Happold (Engineers), Max Fordham (Consulting Engineers), Empty S.L (construction)
Date Constructed: 2009-2011
Location:  Station Court, Townmead Road, London SW6 2PY

The Roca Gallery London is a showroom for the Spanish bathroom fittings and units company Roca, and is located in Imperial Wharf, Fulham. It was designed by Zaha Hadid Architects and was constructed between 2009-2011.

Situated beside Imperial wharf overground station, the gallery occupies the ground floor of a large residential development constructed as part of the Imperial Wharf redevelopment plan. At the base of the building, the elevation wraps around the south east corner, from Townmead Road to face the station and public court in front. The elevation of the gallery is constructed from a series of concrete panels which combine to form a fluid geometry and continuous curves which create the openings and elevation pattern.

Inside, the architects have taken the natural flow of water as an inspiration and have created a free flowing open space, with an in-sit concrete structure curving throughout the interior enclosures. The user is gently led around the space into small niches where products are positioned to compliment the flow and rhythm of the surrounding space. What is striking and apparent as you work your way around the gallery is the connection between the products and the architecture. The fluid plan, curved walls, and subtle recessed lighting work to compliment the products and create a more complete space which defies traditional notions of hierarchy and order. 

The entrance to the gallery contains reception areas with information relating to the gallery and products, office and administrative space. Lighting to the space comes from ceiling and wall lights concealed behind GRP (reinforced plastic) panels resembling water movement, and a horizontal strip light which runs throughout the space to illuminate the pure white surfaces. Inside the display spaces, the white surfaces blend with the concrete display areas where lighting is focused around the displays and fluid geometry.

To compliment the interior experience, various audio visual units play sound and videos relating to the concepts of water and movement. Windows and small recesses frame views within the gallery and encourage visual connections between the various spaces and surfaces. 

In addition to a gallery, the spaces hosts various cultural and social events as well as launches for the Roca products. The current Architect's Eye Photography exhibition displays the winning entries from the the competition and open until the end of August.

For further information on the work of Zaha Hadid including exhibitions and media articles, please visit the Artsy website.

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