Unexpected Hill
Hufton and Crow

Unexpected Hill

SO? Architecture&Ideas as Architects

“Unexpected Hill”, adjacent to Burlington Gardens, aims to be a small yet impressive step in the process of transformation of the existing building into a public space. Throughout the history of the site, transformation was a recurrent keyword which arose in different time periods, with different concepts. While both the function and the style of the building have changed in the past, by means of the future plans of RA, both Burlington Gardens and Burlington House will face a major change that will invite more people into the building. By remodeling an unused part of the building which is neighboring the pavement, as a public extension, we propose this corner to be a part of urban life in London, attracting more people towards the building.

photo_credit Hufton and Crow
Hufton and Crow

Unexpected Hill is an urban landscape made of ceramics. As well as for the space, a transformation for the use of material is the challenging part of this landscape since ceramics here are used to create a space, rather than being a decoration element. Using 1X3 m tiles from Turkishceramics portfolio, we propose a three dimensional pattern made of triangles. While geometry has been a common tool to design ceramic patterns throughout history, patterns generally appear to be 2 dimensional. As an example of using geometry to convert a two dimensional object into a 3 dimensional space, the structural principles of muqarnas help us create the top point of the hill where people can see the sky through a ceramic surface. While translucent ceramics will illuminate the hill during the night, growing plants inside the pots will cover the ceramic surface, creating a secondary texture as well as a temporary habitat in the installation.

photo_credit Hufton and Crow
Hufton and Crow

Rather than London’s existing recreational areas which are determined by pre-defined borders, Unexpected Hill will be a public spot rising abruptly on the pavement, just like many in-between public areas in Istanbul that emerge ordinarily thanks to the potential of everyday life.

photo_credit Hufton and Crow
Hufton and Crow

In an age where installations are instantly consumed by their images, Unexpected Hill aims to be an experience in daily life to be shared, as well as a photo. While the installation itself contributes a gathering point, to sit and relax on the street, some additional services shall be provided such as wifi, mobile charging units, music etc. Weekly programs oriented by RA will keep the place lively even in the quite weekend days. Unlike the buzzing Piccadilly and Burlington Arcade where people pass quickly, Unexpected Hill offers a place to stop in Mayfair, for both day and night.

photo_credit Hufton and Crow
Hufton and Crow
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