An article about the use of copper in the Eastgate Oriental City complex for the European Copper in Architecture Campaign.

Eastgate Oriental City complex


Eastgate Oriental Centre, UK

Written by Barlow Henley Architects

This scheme brings together several Chinese community businesses to form ‘Eastgate Oriental City’, situated between the residential and commercial areas of St Werburghs and Eastgate Office Park.

It includes a supermarket, 300-seat restaurant and a mix of private office spaces, whilst supporting an existing market.

Barlow Henley Architects have worked with the change in level across the site so that the building responds to the housing to the north, whilst advertising itself to its commercial neighbours to the south.

The client (Wai Yee Hong) was keen to have a building of contemporary design, containing a spirit of the wider Chinese culture. The design uses pre-patinated copper set against contrasting rendered panels and aluminium rainscreen.

Borrowing from traditional Chinese forms the large roof eaves, exposed steel work and volumetric forms complement the modern materials to provide articulation to the building’s form.

The prominent 12-metre high, 17-metre deep copper drum provides the main focal point. This contains the main accommodation stair and central interaction space for the large numbers of customers for both the restaurant and supermarket via a single entrance.

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