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Island Pavilion and Footbridge, Wormsley, Buckinghamshire

Simple in construction, elegant in execution

Credit: Dennis Gilbert

Architect: Robin Snell and Partners for Wormsley Estate

Contract value: Undisclosed

GIA: 150m2

Set in the picturesque Getty Estate on a small island over the water from Snell’s demountable Garsington Opera building, the architect’s latest addition is a pavilion designed around a single work of art, Jeff Koons’ ‘Cracked Egg (Blue), creating a new reception space for the estate.

  • Credit: Dennis Gilbert
  • Credit: Dennis Gilbert
  • Credit: Dennis Gilbert
  • Credit: Dennis Gilbert

Housing the highly expensive egg, Snell’s response, in terms of the detailing of the pavilion, has been Fabergé-like, with every junction of the part pre-fabricated building carefully considered. The main structural ribs supporting the roof are refined, with services carefully integrated in between them, and the sharp edges and folds of its cladding marking the pavilion out in contrast to the surrounding  landscape. The ceiling soffit provides uniform lighting for the sculpture but also a serene surface that complements the minimalism of the surrounding glass enclosure.

The bridge leading to it is simple in construction but elegant in execution and consistent with the level of detailing achieved elsewhere. More a piece of product design than a building, its jewel-like construction is consistent with the production values of the perfectly reflective art piece that it houses.

See other winners in the RIBA Regional Awards 2015 – South


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