Onsaburgh Pavilions (2022)

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Client: Xylotek
Architect: Nex
Location: London, UK

Date: 2022-10-10 00:00:00 +0000 UTC
Tags: timber, pavilion, gridshell

Onsaburgh Pavilions

The Osnaburgh Pavilions were commission by developer British Land to provide landscape features in their redevelopment of their Regents Place office campus in London. They consist of three oak lattice structure that were detailed, fabricated and installed by Xylotek.

Moving from west to east, the pavilions increase in size to draw people into the campus from Osnaburgh street. The first structure welcomes people to gather and sit in conversation. The second pavilion encourages children and adults alike to play with a large circular spinning seat that is positioned in the centre of the path. The final pavilion creates a new tiered performance space for the local theatre group, and a venue for evening and weekend music.

The architect, Nex collaborated with Xylotek to complete computational studies that developed the irregular lattice structures into geometrically rigorous but non-uniform patterns of thin oak lathes. Format were appointed by Xyoltek to assist with the engineering design and technical detailing.

A key structural challenge was to design the structures so that the lathes remained slender while also being stiff enough to create self-supporting lattices when put together. The final design takes advantage of off-site manufacturing to improve quality of craftsmanship, cut waste, and reduce on-site assembly time. Using sustainably sourced oak, thin strips were bent and laminated into their final curved shapes on room-sized jigs. Laminated strips were then layered together to make lattices, before being transported to site for final assembly with a further layers of loose lathes.

There are a total of over 400 laths, made of over 10km of oak lamella strips. Each oak lath has a cross section of 65x40mm, and is made of 5 layers of 8mm oak lamellas. By finger-jointing short lengths of oak end-to-end lamellas of up to 9.5m length were created.

Key challenges from an engineering consideration were finding suitable fixings that would not split the narrow lathes and additionally helping to reduce the overall number of fixings across the project using computational methods.

Project Team

- Overall Client: British Land
- Architect:  Nex
- Landscape Contractor: Maylim
- Fabricator/Installation: Xylotek