Nissen Richards Studio has just completed Magazine London, a major new event space for the capital, located on the North Greenwich Peninsula. The building is an 8m-high, monolithic, L-shaped black box and a striking new neighbour for the O2. It's now the largest venue of its kind in London, with over 3,200 sq m of versatile interior space, catering for up to 3,000 people and able to extend to accommodate a further 7,000 people by using the venue's outdoor showground.
The building forms a dynamic new black horizontal plane against the vertical cluster of Canary Wharf towers beyond and is a collaboration between innovative space creators Venue Lab, ticketed culture partner Broadwick Live, technical production specialists Vibration Design and Production, catering experts Moving Venue and property developers Knight Dragon.
The building is located on Ordnance Crescent and faces Ordnance Wharf, taking its name from the gunpowder magazine that used to sit close to the site. The architecture sought to reference the site's industrial heritage through a monolithic, warehouse-style architectural approach, using a steel structure and saw-tooth external cladding, which creates further horizontal banding. The building's steel frame is a unique design, in that instead of using a portal frame, the steelwork sub-contractor suggested a tapered steel column and a triple-pitched roof structure, which gives a rounded feel to the internal ridge line.
The internal palette has been designed to be industrial, with very little that's in any way superficial, so that it forms a completely blank canvas for events. Materials include patinated steel; black-painted OSB cladding; pressed and perforated black metal mesh cladding and a stand-out, exposed and polished concrete floor throughout - which also forms the concrete slab for the whole building. Although designed for temporary use (10-12 years), the building is strong and robust, with brutalist influences and a contemporary aesthetic and includes two raw steel cantilevered staircases, leading up to two mezzanine spaces.
Photography: Gareth Gardner