Architect: Caruso St John LLP
Specialist Stone Contractor: Stone Restoration Services Ltd
Awards: RIBA Inclusive Design Award shortlisted
Natural Stone: Craft Awards Nominated Natural Cladding award
The museum was originally constructed in 1857 under the instruction of Prince Albert. In the early 50's a series of photographs were taken depicting children skipping and playing hopscotch on the streets of Bethnal Green. These powerful images illustrated unity found though play amid poverty - this image today was incorporated in Caruso's excellent design.
The façade is expressed as a loggia however rather than being defined it is represented entirely pictorially through the application of geometric, polychromatic stonework.
Cut red porphyry stone depicts a colonnade, while pale limestone and quartzite are used to infill the gaps. This dialectic between planarity and perceived depth extends through the use of glazing set flush with the stone in three of the bays, while the remainder contains panels of a repetitive geometric motif.
It was imperative for Stone Restoration Services to ensure that the stonework was cut precisely and fixed perfectly - without which the design would not be as visual as it is today