Trio: Making Places

Matthew Lloyd Architects LLP, London, 2018


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Mark Risner, Dan Risner, Urna Sodnomjamts     Download Original

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TriO is a community pavilion, completed in October 2018, in The Sunken Garden, a community garden on the Attlee Terrace Estate, Walthamstow, London.

The drawing shed, a contemporary arts organisation based on the estate for 10 years, was commissioned after a partnership tender, with Matthew Lloyd Architects and Sarah Hersi, won a Making Places bid. Funded as part of the first London Borough of Culture, Making Places is an initiative by Waltham Forest Council to deliver creative projects across the borough, which will have a lasting impact on communities and neighbourhoods.

The design was developed further by Risner Design, who went on to undertake the detailed design and fabrication drawings, and acted as maker/contractor.

TriO has two parts – an informal community meeting space with full height gable-end front doors, pivoting windows facing the garden, and a rear store. During consultation ideas were welcomed by residents, and conversations centred around the design and use of the space. Bespoke CNC cut birch ply portal frames form the key structural element. The frames, windows, casements and interior furniture were fabricated from over 200 individual ply components.

The portal frames sit inside the polycarbonate skin around the rear store, lined in ply internally and back lit with colour-changing LED lighting, creating a “garden lantern” effect – a guiding principle of the design concept. Remaining ply frames and stainless steel bracing, forming the community space, change in scale and are flipped to the exterior of the polycarbonate skin, to give the structure a greater sculptural presence within the space, and the intricate timber frames greater prominence.

It is hoped TriO has formed an ambitious leap of faith forwards in the perception of what is possible for a small cultural space, sitting in an un-gated community garden on a social housing estate in London, E17.


  • Begun: Sep 2018
  • Completed: Oct 2018
  • Floor area: 14m2
  • Sector: Arts and culture
  • Total cost: £40,000
  • Funding: L. B. Waltham Forest - Making Places Programme
  • Tender date: Jul 2018
  • Procurement: Design/Build
  • Address: London, E17, United Kingdom

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