|function||exposition space, pavilion|
Today St. Albans is just one of many towns in the dense commuter belt surrounding London, but its roots reach back to the first century AD, when it was a Roman settlement called Verulamium. A show-piece of that time, a tiled floor mosaic with floral patterns, was excavated in the 1920s. The mosaic, which also features an underfloor heating system (a hypocaust), was for many years housed in a simple brick building, but now it has new accommodation. Seen from afar, the new building appears as an undefined white block. Only on closer inspection does it reveal its beauty. Its enclosing walls are faced with glass reinforced concrete panels imprinted with oyster shells, a nod towards Roman building materials that included shells, while simple rosette-shaped openings in the walls are a visual allusion to the floral pattern of the mosaic. The building's tilted roof opens up towards the park, reflecting the mosaic to the outside world via a mirror-faced soffit.