The Aldgate Landmark Pavilion designed by Easton + Combs is a temporary entrance marker to the City of London in celebration of the 2012 Olympics. The site’s importance is that it is the location of the former city gate, the Aldgate, a historically significant point of entry to the city of London that was famous for being open to all social classes when the other city gates were reserved for various elites.
As the architects state, the Pavilion serves as a symbolic greeting hall, a light filled, multicolored, transparent surface that creates a momentary envelope for the celebration of the 2012 Olympics and a spatial marker of London’s archeology of social exchange. The Aldgate 2012 Pavilion addresses the city as a multilayered set of possibilities that constitute an urban theater. As an architectural celebration of the 2012 Olympics, the structure is vibrant and porous yet asserts a sense of place and provides for a variety of possible events. Readings, music and gatherings are accommodated in the large room with a unique cylindrical inverted crown that suggests a space of performance and social exchange.
The design is based on extensive research into lightweight, inexpensive building strategies, as well as the history of temporary architecture. A fascination with chapel typologies implemented in the context of densely built urban fabric is articulated through referencing the pavilion structure to the intimate nature of domed chapels.