Landolt + Brown were asked to design a Pop Up Retail Building which would be a multi-tasking temporary pavilion for local retailers, exhibitions and information during the development of Tottenham Hale Rail Station and oversite housing. It was to be positioned between the old rail station and the new Bus Station square. The architects worked to develop a design brief with collaborating architect trained artist Wendy Hardie, together developing an innovative form that worked as a sculptural object in its own right but also tied the language of the new bus canopy structures, with their bold structural steel forms, to the new train station design, a translucent white glass cube made of folding and linear opalesque glass planks. The raised cube form of the new train station double height concourse was designed to be internally lit at night to create a calm but strong focal point drawing people to the station. Both the Bus Station canopies with their new public realm, now built, and the new Rail Station Concourse Building up to planning consent and outline oversite housing (yet to be built but which was granted planning permission in late 2013) have been designed by Landolt + Brown Architects.
The steeply folding triangular form of the pop-up’s section was a form chosen to eliminate, as much as possible on such a necessarily small footprint, the architectural noise of the large multicoloured student housing block rising up behind the old train station to the north of the site. This introduced an interesting and potentially dramatic volume over the heads of the multipurpose units when clad in a silmilarly opalesque translucent skin to the new train station, but in a low budget material such as polycarbonate. The design of the pop-up was wanting to herald the new design of the station but also celebrate an exciting transformation in Tottenham Hale itself. The Tottenham Hale letters were proposed to be suspended individually within the roof space as sculptural shadowy objects, that emerged and receded in view as passersby moved between the Bus Station and the Rail Station or around the site.
The interiors of the units were to be minimal plywood boxes inserted into the translucent wedge form as discrete, distinct forms within the whole. The doors to the units were designed to fold up and form translucent awnings of varying depths during the day to encourage seating, resting and eating or drinking opportunities for small local businesses to develop during their occupation of the pop-up. The low elevation to the Rail Station was designed to present a flattened graphic form of the bus canopy structures, steeply raking down so it became a translucent geometric canvas more than a roof in the eyes of those approaching it from the rail station. The low vertical wall at the base of the roof was to form a long wall for a new graphic art commission, of linear spare language in keeping with the aesthetic of the pop-up building, exploring Tottenham Hale’s history.
The project was unable to be realised due to changes in the configuration and extent of the boundary line of the new railway and oversite’s construction site, eliminating enough space for the pop-up building to work.