The faceted North Greenwich Sculptural Screen by Neiheiser Argyros is designed to conceal the exhaust vents and fire escape of a London Underground station.
The project is a 14-metre tall perforated metal sculptural screen that wraps around a London Underground vent and fire escape shaft. The enclosure folds and thickens to contain a large digital media screen, a small cafe, and public restrooms. The corrugated metal skin both obscures and reveals the infrastructure contained within, creating a subtly dynamic veil that changes expression throughout the day.
The project is designed to be in dialogue with the adjacent Tide elevated linear park, designed by Neiheiser Argyros in collaboration with Diller Scofidio + Renfro. The two works of architecture are geometrically twisting past one another – almost dancing – though they never touch and are expressed with intentionally contrasting visual languages. While the Tide is curved and solid, this project is angular and translucent. The two objects are opposites in dialogue.
The project is both present and absent. On the one hand its location adjacent to the O2 Arena and the North Greenwich Tube Station means that it will be seen by thousands of visitors daily, 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 will blur slightly, refracting and distorting the light that passes through, hovering just out of visual comprehension.