This delicate pavilion hovers over its lakeside setting. The requirement for the University of Essex was for a stand-alone building that could function both as a campus restaurant and a space for conferences and other external events. We floated the building over the lake to emphasise the lightness of the steel structure. Using a modernist language of sliding planes we proposed to blur the boundaries between the internal and external spaces.
The timber soffit and exposed cor-ten steel structure reference the woodland and waterside location. Shaped roof lights will cast shadows from the tree canopy above down onto the restaurant floor below. The pavilion is a key component of the long term strategic plan for the lake and surrounding parkland at the University’s Wivenhoe campus in Colchester.
The lakeside is conceived as the ‘sixth square’ to draw activity out from the five central courtyards of the original buildings. A series of events are located around the lake shore with the pavilion being one of the key focal points. The views out from the pavilion provide visual links back to the university buildings and also to the new landscape activities around the lakeside.