Turkish design kiosks on London streets

7. Eric Parry_Water Kiosk Model_Photo Credit Architects Journal, Anthony Coleman

 Unusual water kiosks were displayed throughout locations in London this year as part of a campaign to highlight traditional Turkish design for structures which have become part of the urban fabric of cities.

 The Kiosk exhibition, organised by the Architects’ Journal and promotional group Turkish Ceramics, highlighted designs by some of the world’s most talented architects including  Zaha Hadid, Hopkins Architects, Eric Parry Architects, ADAM Architecture, Studio Weave and Google HQ architect Allford Hall Monaghan Morris.

 All were challenged to design a drinking water dispensing structure that incorporates ceramics and considers the architectural history of the building.


 The definition of the kiosk, which originated in Turkey during the Ottoman era as a garden pavilion, has transformed over time.

 During the late 17th century, charitable fountain kiosks in Turkey were paid for by the Sultan to distribute free, clean water to citizens. These were freestanding buildings, fashioned in marble and often with exquisite ceramic tilework.

 By the 19th century kiosks became prevalent across western European cities and were adapted to dispense everyday products such as tickets, newspapers and confectionary.

 Bahadir Kayan, chairman of the Turkish Ceramics Promotion Group, said: “We are proud of the heritage of ceramics in Turkey and how this material has been an integral part of our architectural heritage.

 “After welcoming six very different architectural practices to Istanbul last year as part of

the research for this project, it’s exciting to see how each practice re-interpreted the typology of the kiosk for 21st century London.”

 Sites chosen for the London kiosks included the South Bank and Soho.

 Ken Hood, partner at Hopkins Architects said: “Our kiosk aims to make the dispensing of water a celebrated urban event which will draw people together and add drama to the public realm in London.”

 Eric Parry, director of Eric Parry Architects, said: “I wanted to combine the pleasurable object of the Ottoman precedent with the everyday needs of a hungry city like London.”

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