The Prism

The Prism is a 14-metre tall perforated metal sculptural enclosure that wraps around a London Underground Vent Shaft, and contains a large  digital media screen, a small cafe, and public restrooms. The folded metal skin both obscures and reveals the infrastructure contained within, creating a subtly dynamic veil that changes expression throughout the day.

The Prism is designed to be in dialogue with the Tide the two works of architecture tangled and twisting past one another – almost dancing – though they never touch. The plan geometries of Island 1 of the Tide are echoed in the Prism, but expressed in a completely different visual language. While the Tide is curved and solid, the Prism is angular and translucent. The two objects are opposites in dialogue.

The Prism is both present and absent. On the one hand its location in the center of Peninsula Plaza means it will be seen by thousands of visitors as they pass by on their way to the O2, demanding a strong visual identity. On the other hand it fades into the background, as a moment of visual quiet in a cacophony of geometries and patterns that surround it. The perforated metal will at times catch the light and snap into crisp view. At other times the figure of the Prism will blur slightly, refracting and distorting the light that passes through, hovering just out of visual comprehension.

Program: Cafe, Infrastructure, Public Space
140 sq.m.
London, United Kingdom

Client: Knight Dragon
Design Team: Ryan Neiheiser, Xristina Argyros, Eleni Vagianou, Nikolas von Schwabe, Danae Haratsis, Giorgio Piscitelli, Chris Yuan, Kevin Larson
Landscape Designers: Gross. Max.
Structural Engineers: AKT II
MEP, Lighting: AECOM
Steel Fabricator: Cimolai
Photography: Luke Hayes, Neiheiser Argyros