The Timber Palace
Site Area: n/a
Built Area: 948 sqm
Made of glass and iron, Joseph Paxton’s Crystal Palace embodied the spirit of British innovation and industrial might that the Great Exhibition of 1851 was intended to celebrate. 170 years later, in the same innovative spirit, the Timber Palace replaces cast iron for timber and glass for recycled plastic to minimise the environmental impact of the new pavilion in Clitterhouse Playing Fields.
The Timber Palace is located at the heart of the park, visible from every entrance. An east-west atrium runs along the building and is crossed by a north-south axis on the level above. These axes reflect on the facade as domed spaces. From an outer pedestrian ring, paths radiate and connect with existing routes and can integrate into the future design of the park.
Solar-powered, the Timber Palace delivers the required uses whilst also housing trees and plants within its 22x22m footprint, becoming part of the natural habitat. The use of structural laminated timber and modular façade elements and partitions allows for a cheaper, faster, and more sustainable construction. Recycled acrylic panels are used as the envelope, with different degrees of transparency, according to the privacy required. Some modules can be opened to provide ventilation.