New York based design firm, MANIFESTO, shared with Arch Daily the INFORSTRUCTURE which is the Stratford Information kiosk for the 2012 London Olympics is designed with an aim to provide the public with free and instant access to important information.
Architects: MANIFESTO Architecture P.C.
Location: Meridian Square, Stratford London, UK
Client: LBN (London Borough of Newham), DfL (Design for London), London Development Agency
Structural Engineer: Yoshinori Nito Engineering & Design P.C., Malishev Wilson Engineers
Project Area: 240 sqm
Renderings: Courtesy of MANIFESTO Architecture P.C.
In the information age, individuals and businesses are more than ever relying on access to useful and important information. Being such a critical resource, information has truly become an infrastructure in itself. However, without the proper modes of distribution, information can be misdirected or even put to waste, especially considering its ubiquity today. Today, it is important to quickly and effectively engage the right users with the right sources of information.
The skin of the structure itself, an elegant yet dynamic matrix of linear elements, symbolizes the systematic extraction of various flows of information scattered around the earth.
The facade folds to create a canopy of undulating members and reveals the main entrances toward the North, inviting passersby into the kiosk where they will find various informational venues of interest. Through captivatingly attracting pedestrians and providing them with up-to-date information, INFOSTRUCURE will function not only as a landmark and memorable first impression to the region of Stratford, but also as an infrastructural node for the proliferation of all forms of information to the general public.
As a node of the square, the INFOSTRUCURE not only performs as a landmark, but also as a boundary condition that contains and defines the square as a pedestrian-friendly plaza, protecting it from the busy traffic of the bus station. Yet a sense of openness is not compromised as the semitransparent nature of the INFOSTRUCURE’s metal screen does not obstruct views but rather allows a stimulating visual connection to be maintained between the bus station and the train station. The INFOSTRUCURE is designed to provide travellers with a stunning and thematically relevant arrival experience into Stratford, which is to become a critical hub for both information and transportation.
Within the eye-catching metal screen, the programme space is organized flexibly to accommodate the various functions to be needed before (exhibition space) and after (café, toilets, etc) the 2012 Olympics, all while effectively functioning as a kiosk displaying up-to-date information.
The INFOSTRUCTURE creates spaces that allows for the integration of functions housed in existing stalls on Meridian Square, as well as new information centres for the TfL, the Olympics, and the London Borough of Newham. The kiosk also provides a sign posting service for visitors.
STRUCTURE / FACADE SYSTEM
The INFOSTRUCURE is a steel frame structure veiled in a screen of smaller metal members which features a rich texture of material elegance. This operable metal screen, when folded open, creates a dynamic undulating facade and canopy, the angles of which have an effect of both attracting attention to itself and also responding to the various points of interest around the site, including the Stratford bus and railway stations as well as the Town Centre Link Steps. During off hours the metal surface unfolds and closes, providing security, yet the surface quality of the screen remains as an elegant architectural language that attracts attention and functions as a landmark at all hours. The screen’s semi-transparency also allows the information displayed inside the kiosk to be accessible even when closed.
The various angles of the screen members also symbolize the transitory nature of a transportation hub where people headed for various destinations cross paths. During off hours the metal surface unfolds and closes providing security, yet the surface quality of the screen remains as a dynamic architectural language that attracts attention at all hours. The screen’s semi-transparency also allows the information displayed inside the kiosk to be accessible even when closed.
In the information age, individuals and businesses are more than ever relying on new and real-time information. Without the latest information most would fail to achieve maximum efficiency. Also, without the proper modes of transmitting this information, it can be useless and put to waste. In today’s sea of information, much can be missed and overlooked if it is not organized and transmitted in an effective manner.