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London, United Kingdom

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Gruff - Amp Studio Canopy


The AMP Studios Pavilion on the Old Kent Road was conceived as a simple, coherent structure that would echo and complement the urban setting between the railway line and busy road. Accepting of its inner-city environment, the pavilion serves as a focal element, enticing users into the space.

The brick arches of AMP Studios accommodate an interesting mix of uses. The two first arches are studio spaces for artists and creatives, whilst the two at the rear serve as combined/adaptable spaces for private parties and events. In order to provide a sheltered area to the forecourt of these end two arches, the pavilion - a temporary timber, steel and polycarbonate structure - extends out, creating a unique focal point, whilst amalgamating the individual elements.

Maverick offer unique locations for art exhibitions, theatre, events, filming and photography shoots. Their brief was to transform this gritty urban pocket in south east London into a venue befitting of one of the most important days in people’s lives - their wedding day. The venue complements Asylum, a Grade II listed former chapel also managed by Maverick which has been a venue for weddings for a number of years.

Working with structural engineers Foster Structures, the form of the pavilion was inspired by the geometry of the existing masonry arches of the Victorian railway viaduct. The truss form of the roof is structurally efficient. It enables an expressive but honest geometry to be formed using a simple series of identical repeated elements and nodal connections, as well as breaking down the large span into set of smaller, lighter elements able to be easily fabricated and then manoeuvred into position by hand.

The materials and elements reflect the structural forces in the pavilion roof – the larger timber members forming the compressive top chords and slimmer steel tubes forming the bottom tension chords to create a structurally legible overall form. The raw and functional palette of timber, galvanised metal and polycarbonate presents a clean palette for those using the space for weddings, parties and other events. These bare materials reflect the railway infrastructure and the urban setting, whilst also providing a neutral backdrop which can be decorated and dressed to any taste and personal style.

Photographs by

Ben Blossom