The 18th London Design Competition came about from September 12-20, 2020. It was the primary worldwide design occasion to happen because the coronavirus pandemic compelled the world into lockdown. Its Landmark Challenge ‘The Hothouse’ – by London-based architectural follow Studio Weave – was a greenhouse-like construction designed to be a commentary on local weather change.

This Mini-Greenhouse Shows How Serious A Temperature Rise Of 1°C Is
(Credit score: Ed Reeve / London Design Competition)

Situated in Stratford in Redman Place close to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, ‘The Hothouse’ additionally pays homage to the district’s historical past as an edible fruit-growing hotspot. The neighborhood occupies 1,300 acres throughout 20 miles alongside the Lee Valley hall. The complete stretch was once house to greenhouses that grew unique fruits and decorative crops and flowers.

Je Ahn, the founding director of Studio Weave, informed Dezeen:

I stay in Homerton, subsequent door to Stratford, and knew that the Lea Valley had the world’s largest density of greenhouses within the 1930s. This space equipped an enormous quantity of unique fruits, like grapes and cucumbers – that was in my thoughts.


It has at all times been vital to us to think about context and the way the constructing is responding to the encircling panorama and the way the panorama is responding to the constructing. So, the constructing doesn’t stand by itself; it stands on the positioning’s historical past and folks’s reminiscence of the positioning. So, we’re very conscious of this from the early phases of our tasks.

Ahn additionally mentioned in a dialog with STIR:

The realm that this set up is in is a brand new a part of the town. It has fairly a historical past of being a really productive floor; it had the most important focus of greenhouses on the planet within the 1930s and offered many unique fruits on the time. That bought me eager about what the place has develop into now. As a thriving new a part of the town, with new parks, new homes, new places of work, it now has extra of a tough panorama. This bought me questioning what is going to occur to it sooner or later, what are we speaking about right here, what’s our relationship with the pure world going to be? We wished to make a commentary on that by means of the choice of crops.

The Hothouse
(Credit score: Studio Weave)

‘The Hothouse’ structural design pays homage to Victorian glasshouses. The managed habitat inside permits for the cultivation of crops that wouldn’t ordinarily develop within the UK’s local weather however will if the planet continues to heat.

Je Ahn defined additional:

We wished to create one thing with an natural feeling that appears to be rising out of the bottom. It has the optimum form for reaching the local weather we wished; tall within the center with entrances at both facet that permit it to attract sizzling air as much as the highest, which might be launched if it will get too sizzling.

Landscaper Tom Massey designed the planting, together with tropical crops like avocado, chia seed, chickpea, guava, gourd, lemon, loquat, mango, orange, pineapple, pomegranate, quinoa, sugarcane, and candy potato. All these species that may’t develop outside within the UK now will be capable to by 2050 if local weather change continues.

Whereas attending to have tropical fruits within the UK doesn’t sound like a nasty factor, simply think about what’s occurring to the warmer components of the world the place these crops truly develop. That’s a scary actuality.

This Mini-Greenhouse Shows How Serious A Temperature Rise of 1°C Is
(Credit score: Ed Reeve/London Design Competition)
The Hothouse
(Credit score: Ed Reeve/London Design Competition)

The set up’s goal is to point out the consequences of local weather change in a extra tangible method. The designers thought that if individuals might expertise it personally, they’d higher perceive the disaster. Design could be a highly effective instrument to fight local weather change if used to coach individuals and supply extra eco-friendly merchandise.

Ahn mentioned:

It’s meant to remind individuals of the connection we’ve got with nature – we wish individuals to interact with the construction and the crops.

Nevertheless, Studio Weave was conscious that the pavilion was to be constructed through the COVID-19 pandemic, so individuals most likely wouldn’t be capable to go inside. For this, they designed it to be participating from the outside, enclosing the construction with clear CNC-cut recyclable plastic to ensure the crops had been seen. Even at evening, the pavilion is lit to attract consideration to the planting.

The Hothouse
(Credit score: Ed Reeve/London Design Competition)
This Mini-Greenhouse Shows How Serious A Temperature Rise Of 1°C Is
(Credit score: Ed Reeve/London Design Competition)

Ahn defined:

We knew that not too many individuals would be capable to go inside, so we made positive individuals might have interaction with the crops from the skin. We made the masking from the clearest materials we might discover – it’s a big model of an Edwardian Terrarium.

‘The Hothouse’ is demountable with no everlasting foundations. It’s going to stay on show for a couple of extra months earlier than being dismantled and relocated to a but unknown, everlasting location.