Ravens Enclosure, Tower of London

Llowarch Llowarch Architects, London , 2015

 

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New Ravens Enclosure for the Tower of London, including interpretation and decking for expanded programme of educational talks and workshops.

Commissioned by Historic Royal Palaces, the new night accommodation for the Ravens’ has been created as part of an on-going programme of improvements to the visitor experience at the Tower of London.

Unlike an aviary, the birds have free rein of the Tower during the day. Openings in the rear of the new enclosures allow the ravens free access, and are closed at night for the ravens’ own protection.

A series of oak slatted structures contain the ravens’ night boxes. These define a series of open spaces between. When viewed from the front, the simple, highly crafted wood structures frame the birds in their setting presenting them against the backdrop of the White Tower. Large sliding screens to the rear provide access to the open sections of the enclosures whilst maintaining transparency through.

The brief and design was developed in close consultation with the Ravenmaster and with specialist input from the Zoological Society of London and developed closely with the craftsmen in a collaborative process of making and approval, supported by procurement using the JCT Constructing Excellence contract.

The enclosure’s design evolved through a process of repeated studies of simplification and refinement, with restrained detailing, to minimise the impact of the structure in this historic setting - a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Scheduled Ancient Monument.

Oak was selected for its durable low maintenance properties, and in reference to the historic use of the material on the site. The vertical oak slats bring an implied translucency in contrast to the stone boundary, as well as bringing an intimacy of scale and texture.

Data

  • Begun: Feb 2015
  • Completed: Jul 2015
  • Floor area: 50m2
  • Sector: Arts and culture
  • Total cost: £230,000
  • Funding: Private
  • Tender date: Oct 2013
  • Procurement: JCT Construction Excellence
  • Address: The Tower of London , London , EC3N 4AB, United Kingdom

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