Project Essentials

  • LocationLondon, England
  • ClientLondon Design Festival
  • ArchitectDavid Adjaye
  • Size840 ft² (78 m²)

Every year, the London Design Festival commissions well-known designers, artists and architects to design Landmark Projects. These projects are intended to exhibit material variety, a particular topic or a place. They are exceptional temporary buildings located in some of London’s most prominent public spaces – as in the case of the Sclera wooden pavilion, overlooking the London Eye, designed by architect David Adjaye.

The design refers metaphorically to the human eye and takes up the theme “Size + Matter”. Preconceived notions about timber construction are questioned and the potential of this versatile and beautiful material is celebrated. David Adjaye chose American Tulipwood as a prototype of a new material that has not been previously used in construction. This material was also chosen to explore aspects such as load-bearing capacity, surface finish and design qualities.

In this project, David Adjaye works with contrasts of light and shadow, giving the viewer a pixelated perception of the surroundings. The architect chose an oval shape for the pavilion to avoid angles and corners. This gives the impression of an endless space.

Fast + Epp, together with HESS Timber and David Adjaye, developed a structure consisting of approximately 1,350 different beams, which form the columns and roof construction in a densely spaced arrangement. A system of five almost invisible cables reinforces the pavilion.