Tell us about the early design brief
Our brief was to create a landmark civic building within the new East Village masterplan to accommodate LOCOG’s medical and doping control facilities during the London 2012 Games, and subsequently provide a range of community facilities and a health centre for the people of East Village and Leyton for years to come.
What inspired your design concept?
The building, of a smaller scale than its immediate neighbours on the site, required a strong sculptural form and simple material qualities in order to achieve the landmark presence demanded by the brief – much like the relatively small churches of Manhattan still distinctive against omnipresent skyscrapers. The dynamic roofline, hewn out of the solid block form of the building and accentuated by the angular truncation of the site, addresses both the centre of the Village at its dominant prow and Leyton in the opposite direction.
As this dynamic graph-line continues to trace the perimeter of the entire block it creates a muscular three-dimensional form which gives the impression that the building itself is in torsion. The building block comes hard up against the street to continue with the general masterplan principles of the Village.
?What design challenges did you face along the way?
Penoyre & Prasad’s concept was to design a building with a high degree of standardisation internally to fulfil the evolving demands of these different occupiers over the short, medium and long term. To give adaptability and complement this flexibility of cellular use, the floorplates were arranged around a unifying and connecting atrium.
The unique promontory site between built-up railway cuttings allowed the ancillary functions of parking and deliveries to be sunk below street and clinical levels. This triangular pedestal provides the setting for the dramatic and sculptural form of the building.
Throughout the rapid and intense design development process, regular and challenging engagement with the Olympic Delivery Authority’s design review panel and dedicated planning control team ensured that we achieved successful quality management.