The Waltham Forest
‘The Waltham Forest’ is a unique community event space in Albert Crescent. The design of the structure is inspired by an imagined historic experience of viewing the London skyline through clearings in the ancient forests at Walthamstow; at a time when the settlement was just a small hamlet outside of the city of London.
A gently rising helical timber ramp is enclosed by a circular ‘forest’ of vertical timber fins. As a visitor rises along the ramp, the structure provides an abstracted experience of rising through a forest canopy. At the top of the ramp, an elevated view of the square and the wider city skyline is revealed.
In the centre of the spiral an intimate new public space is formed that can be used for group activities, such as wood carving lessons and painting workshops. At the very centre is one of the existing living trees in the crescent, forming a focal point.
On a sunny day, the existing tree’s canopy creates organic shadows in the central space that contrast with the straight architectural lines cast by the vertical timber fins.
Christian Brailey, Ben Ridley
Albert Crescent, Waltham Forest