Location: Southampton, UK
Date: 2016-2017
Client: Hammerson
Status: concept design
Size: 500 sqm
Credits: ACME Team (Michel Bosauder, Mark Broom, Philippe Farana, Kevin Leung, Eduardo López Solórzano, Friedrich Ludewig, Gemma Serra)
The Watermark Westquay development has established a new public space at the foot of the medieval town walls of Southampton. The pavilion intends to build upon the success of the first phase of Watermark, and complete the urban enclosure of the square in the South. The scale and the geometry of the pavilion are intended to maximize views of the town wall and outside terraces, while intending to blend into the background rather than dominating the southern square. To achieve this, the pavilion is a single level building, partially buried into the slope of the surrounding landscape. A series of gentle steps lead up to the roof which through use of materials and planting appears as an extension of the public realm.
Historically, this site was the beach used by the local fishermen and wine smugglers to beach their boats at high tide. The structure of the building reflects this in a loadbearing, stepped wooden structure made from cross-laminated timber that creates a space reminiscent of sheltering under a boat’s bow.
In keeping with the tradition of the English seaside follies of the 18th century, the pavilion adds some frivolity through its grotto-like internal appearance. It becomes a promontory which offers a new point of view overlooking the urban surroundings and the movements of passers-by, staging and celebrating the medieval town walls.