Features -

The Gateway Pavilion



Innovative and bespoke design for an emerging part of east London.

The eye-catching Gateway Pavilion has been completed as part of the Greenwich Peninsula vision. 

A significant development in London, Gateway Pavilion stands out thanks to its bespoke ceiling solution that was supplied, designed and installed by SAS International. 

The canopy’s soffit at the pavilion traces a magnetic field pattern while linking the ‘poles of attraction’ of each building and this is one of the key architectural features of the project. 

With the curve of the canopy, linear tubes were not possible, so SAS International evolved the Tubeline ceiling system to meet the brief. 

In order to meet the needs of the development, the design was developed by testing the brief against the various site constraints, which led to Tubeline being the preferred system.

Therefore, a solution was manufactured and a modular plate produced to mount the internal walls, precisely following the curve of the building core. 

Alternating vertical tubes and oak slats are mounted into individually located recesses in the curve plate in order to hold their exact position. The horizontal tubes radiate out from this. 

Brass, copper, concrete, timber and steel are all used to give the development a link to the historical connections of Greenwich and ship building, the sea and maritime navigation. All are recognised in the design at the Gateway Pavilion.

In order to mirror ‘magnetic forces’, tubes had to flow from the inside out. The numerous varying curves were rationalised and group-batched to make use of the inherent flex in the material. 

Tube profiles had to be manipulated on during installation, and accurate setting out of the tubes was achieved by plotting arc coordinates on the suspension grid directly from CAD geometry using the latest laser total station technology. 

The Gateway Pavilion acts as a shop window to all those who visit or pass Greenwich each year, and the work has provided a high quality building feature that can act as an exhibition and event space in its own right. 

Designed by Marks Barfield Architects, the structure can accommodate wind loads resulting in up to 150mm of vertical movement, while the ceiling was designed to move and flex with this structural deflection and was a prerequisite of the scheme. 

Fan air conditioning units have been fitted, therefore access panels for maintenance were crucial. These were manufactured in a trapezoidal form to follow the lines of the tubes. 

Therefore, they are concealed and do not obstruct with the architectural aesthetic, and still allow for easy access for maintenance purposes. 

It took a team of 12 five months to undertake the ceiling and wall installation at the Gateway Pavilion, which have been described as “a statement of intent” by Gemma Collins, Director of Marks Barfield Architects. 

She said: “Marks Barfield Architects’ Gateway Pavilions mark a statement of intent, signalling the character and quality of the place the Peninsula is intended to become.

“SAS International’s in-house special projects team provided a professional installation team to deliver the project on site. They worked with us and Wates Construction to allow full integration of the mechanical services, allowing the concept not to be compromised and achieving the desired high quality result.

“SAS International’s commitment to work with us to an agreed common goal whilst pushing and testing the product means we would not hesitate to work with them in the future.”

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