Hovering over the canal as a series of elegant formal compositions, our proposal seeks inspiration from the concept of a water ‘vortex’. Spiraling ramps flow around the proposed location creating an innovative response to the prevailing site conditions.
Passers-by get drawn into the proposal through entrances seamlessly integrated within the landscape, encouraging movement through the spaces. The entrances are sensitively designed to create minimum impact upon the ancient wall, preserving the character of the historic route. Movement around the spiralling walkways converges towards a central piazza – an interchange to move, rest and view – from which users can experience the passing water through the central eye. Similarly, passing barges can re-orientate themselves beneath the drama of the flowing sculptural form, reminiscent of the Franks Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim or Lubetkin’s Penguin Pool.
Further exploration is encouraged with a raised viewing platform, affording users with panoramic views across New Islington. In order to enhance the sense of weightlessness throughout, it is intended that the main structural components will be constructed of reinforced concrete and glass. Whilst we appreciate that the brief looks to minimise artificial lighting for security and safety reason, the proposals consider integrating a glowing handrail, creating a floating ‘halo’ around the proposals providing the minimum of light to the route ways – and a space to delight in.