The Great Indian Stepwell of Haggerston

Stepwells are wells or ponds in which the water is reached by descending a set of steps originating from the Indian subcontinent. They may be multi-storied with a bullock turning a water wheel to raise the well water to the first or second floor. They are most common in western India and are also found in the other more arid regions of the Indian subcontinent, extending into Pakistan. The construction of stepwells is mainly utilitarian, though they may include embellishments of architectural significance, and be temple tanks.

Stepwells usually consist of two parts: a vertical shaft from which water is drawn and the surrounding inclined subterranean passageways, chambers and steps which provide access to the well. The galleries and chambers surrounding these wells were often carved profusely with elaborate detail and became cool, quiet retreats during the hot summers.

Our Proposal is to experiment with this stepwell typology, we wanted to link the previous 2 pavilions as we felt they were mesmerising, clever and also had clear messages, Pups Pavilion was a sort of play and exploitation of the planning laws disgusting their pavilion as a vert which can be summed up as an illusion, The Indian stepwell has an Escher likeness in it infinite stair mathematical array,

The second theme that last year’s pavilion successfully explored was the connection with the water, Participants where actively invited inside the inflatable structure that met the water, we wanted reflect and enhance this idea which again the Indian step well does by leading the eye down the steps all the way in to the water let alone the water’s surface, there is something haunting by the structures submersing into he murky green canal water,

Our version of the stepwell has one final dimension – the direct response to this yeas theme of a beacon. We propose to construct our pavilion from simple every day scaffolding then cover the scaffolding in Monarflex which is basically the semi translucent dust cover that all building sites have in the Uk, all the materials would simple be rented from a scaffolding company and returned once the time is up, not just recyclable but fully and will be re used for another site,

But it’s the Monarflex that I would like to draw your attention to, because its translucency we propose to place LEDs under the steps that will change colour and act as a huge cascading light show into he water, which we feel has not been experimented with this architectural typology.