Google+ London Architecture Blog: Week 37 13 Feature #30 Thames Barrier Park

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Week 37 13 Feature #30 Thames Barrier Park

Thames Barrier Park
Project Team: Patel Taylor (Architects), Groupe Signes (designers), Arup (Engineers)
Date Completed: 2001
Location:  Thames Barrier Park, North Woolwich Road, London E16  2HP

The Thames Barrier Park is a public park located on the north bank of the River Thames  in an area called Silvertown with the Royal Victoria Docks to the north, Greenwich to the west and the Thames Estuary to the East. The park and the associated pavilions were designed by Patel Taylor Architects in collaboration with Group Signes and were completed in 2001.

The park is situated on 14ha of previously brownfield land and serves the large scale development from the 1990s/ early 2000s which makes up the surrounding area. The park is rectangular in plan and is accessed from the Pontoon Dock DLR station to the north.  The main focal point of the park is a sunken narrow strip of wavy undulating planting running diagonally across the park from the entrance to the riverside. Located at the riverside end beside the Thames Barrier, is the Pavilion of Remembrance. A steel structure commemorating the two world wars.

Access around the park is via an orthogonal perimeter and a series of diagonally placed footpaths intersecting the central landscaping. Running across the park in a horizontal layout are a series of trees scattered at different positions to provide an irregular pattern and allow views across the park and to the Barrier.

Visitor Centre

The park's visitor centre is a minimal Miesian style structure at the northern end of the park which provides facilities including a kitchen, toilets, and public areas inside the pavilion. The centre is constructed from a combination of in-situ reinforced concrete, green oak and a glass skin which opens up the centre to the park. The glass enclosure leads out onto a timber deck, raised just above the level of the park providing a transition from landscape to enclosure.

The plan of the pavilion follows the geometry of the park in being angled towards the Thames Barrier, complimenting the layout of the surrounding landscape and encouraging views of the Barrier from inside the centre. The green oak structure is fixed by a series of exposed steel and bolt connections and is encouraged to weather and retain its natural appearance.

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