London Borough of Wandsworth
Dallas Pierce Quintero
Plan Projects acted public art adviser and commissioning agent for an ambitious design treatment at one of the key developments in Wandsworth Riverside Quarter.
The commissioned designers, Dallas Pierce Quintero, addressed the louvres on the scheme’s energy centre with a pattern derived from the ‘osier,’ a plant grown on the site that was once used for industrial purposes.
The osier is a type of plant whose flexible twigs (called “withies”) are commonly used in basketry, and they were an important product for Wandsworth’s economy in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The design has been applied to the timber louvres through an experimental process that involves lightly burning them through a flame proof stencil. The result explores the sculptural properties of the louvres to achieve a subtle and beautiful feature within the built environment of Wandsworth Town Centre.
There are only a handful of ‘charred’ timber buildings in the UK and we believe this is the first time this process has been used to deliver a decorative treatment onto the façade of a building. The presence of the piece within the neighbourhood is a source of real joy – it can be viewed from several perspectives, and undoubtedly adds to the quality and visual richness of the scheme.
Osiers Gate sits within an upmarket residential extension to the town centre known as Wandsworth Riverside Quarter, located to the south of the River Thames and east of Wandsworth Park.
An important environmental feature is the River Wandle which flows next to the site out into the Thames. Until recently, this part of the borough was used almost entirely for light industry; the local authority, recognising the potential value of the area for residential development, has permitted comprehensive reuse of the land.