Spitalfields Garden Pavilion

Mackenzie Wheeler Architects, London, 2022



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The project comprises a new garden pavilion for a musician and composer to accommodate their musical work as well as their passion for table tennis.

The pavilion is located in the rear garden of one of Spitalfields’ historic and listed 18th century houses. The brief requested a large garden room, as a contrast to the smaller cellular rooms of the house, carefully sized and configured to accommodate a good standard of table tennis while providing an inspirational environment for musical composition. The form of the pavilion is therefore shaped to follow the trajectory of a table tennis ball, with a parabolic roof form built from a series of plywood arches. These arches create an elegant and highly sustainable structure with a warm and tactile feel, and perfect acoustics for musical appreciation. The legs of the plywood arches are tied at their base by steel reinforcement within the ground floor slab so that the pavilion requires no support from adjoining structures, nor places any lateral loads on these structures. The front of the pavilion is fitted with bi-fold doors opening onto the garden to enlarge and enhance the external amenity space, preserving a beautiful Acer tree that screens views from the upper floors of the house. The parabolic roof form is clad with a zinc standing seam roof, patinated brown to harmonise with the surrounding brick walls, to eventually be overgrown to create a green arch over the garden room. A curved rooflight against the back wall ensures natural light at each end of the space. Plywood also forms the shelving and lines the internal face of the parabolic roof so that the structure, its interior and its fittings are crafted entirely from one material, thereby focussing the aesthetic on its elegant form.


  • Begun: Apr 2021
  • Completed: May 2022
  • Floor area: 29m2
  • Sector: Arts and culture
  • Total cost: £150,000
  • Funding: Private
  • Tender date: May 2020
  • Procurement: JCT Minor Works
  • Address: London, E1, United Kingdom

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