Lynch Architects

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Portico E8

This free-standing zinc structure forms a new entrance portico to the land around a 1950s warehouse building - Regent Studios, where we are based - very close to Broadway Market in Hackney, helping to integrate it better into the immediate neighbourhood. The new structure is available for festive use and for use by the occupants of Regent Studios. Formed mainly of standard galvanised steel sections, the Portico sits largely unobtrusively amidst the zinc fences that frame the site, coming to life once occupied. Electricity is provided from sockets mounted into the new concrete ground slab, enabling light and sound systems to be installed, and thus live music and theatre to be performed. A large central arch frames the stage - like a traditional Proscenium Arch in a theatre - which is illuminated ordinarily by the orange sodium security lighting fixed to the warehouse itself. This further integrates the Portico into the everyday life of this part of Hackney, hinting also at the transformation of the area at weekends and in the evening when ephemeral market and dining structures appear, turning the market and its surrounding streets into a hubbub of urban excitement and pleasure. Planning consent was granted in 2019 and construction was very fast, the prefabricated structure being erected and installed in just over a week. Portico was inaugurated with a party on 11th July 2019, and the launch of issue 3 of the Journal of Civic Architecture, which we publish twice a year, included a reading by the poet Emily Hasler and a DJ set by the photographer David Grandorge.

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