Designer Yinka Ilori has teamed up with architecture studio Pricegore to built a multicolored pavilion on the outside of Dulwich Picture Gallery in London. The Colour Palace will host a variety of events over the next month as part of the London Festival of Architecture.
This summer, the London Festival of Architecture celebrates ‘boundaries’ while Dulwich Picture Gallery celebrates ‘innovation’. These themes converge in the Colour Palace: a riotous architectural fusion that blurs boundaries between cultural traditions, integrating art and architecture.
The innovative timber structure is a feat of engineering using just one small size of timber with all the joints on show revealing the craftsmanship and structural logic. For the London Festival of Architecture, the project is an important opportunity to celebrate London’s vibrant architectural scene and to support exciting fresh design talent. For Dulwich Picture Gallery, the Colour Palace will act as a versatile public space that will be used for a variety of creative activities for visitors of all ages – from ‘Pavilion Lates’ to neon life drawing, supper clubs, storytelling and yoga – throughout the summer.
Pricegore and Yinka Ilori’s Colour Palace is a testament to universal themes of color, pattern, and celebration. The design finds parallels between African and European cultures to create a building that reflects the diverse cultural experience of southeast London. The Pavilion draws on many shared traditions of geometry and pattern in architecture, and the common solution of raising storage buildings on staddle stones.
Raised on monumental feet, the lightweight pavilion is assembled from thousands of individual pieces of hand painted timber. The combination of these elements creates layered facades of bold geometric pattern that shift and merge according to viewpoint recalling the fabric markets of Lagos, Nigeria.
Internally, the Pavilion resembles a small theatre-in-the-round, and visitors can climb to a perimeter gantry held within the depth of the slender structure. The squat volume of the Pavilion is informed by the cubic composition of Soane’s Grade II listed Dulwich Picture Gallery, next to which it sits in close proximity.
“The brief for the Dulwich pavilion demanded a celebratory response to John Soane’s outstanding historic architecture, and having Yinka as part of the Colour Palace design team has really helped us to achieve that,” explain Dingle Price and Alex Gore of Pricegore. “The Colour Palace has been a wonderful opportunity for us to design our first prominent civic building: alongside several exciting housing projects we hope it will lead to further civic and cultural projects and the chance to work with great clients like the Dulwich Picture Gallery.”
“The beauty of the pavilion’s design is that it stands bold and proud surrounded by the history of Sir John Soane’s iconic building, celebrating history and culture,” continues Yinka Ilori. “Its patterns and shapes calmly welcome you from a distance until you get closer and closer, and you’re blown away with an explosion of color that immediately demands your attention. I’m so excited to see how people react to the Colour Palace and how it will bring people from different cultures and communities together. I’m hoping to see people arrive and leave with a smile on their faces — what could be better for the summer!”
“I’m thrilled to finally see the Colour Palace: from the moment we first saw Pricegore and Yinka Ilori’s proposals we knew it would be something special,” adds Tamsie Thomson, director of the London Festival of Architecture. “As one of the highlights of the 2019 London Festival of Architecture, this amazing project is the embodiment of what happens when you transcend architectural and artistic boundaries, and I’m looking forward to spending time there alongside thousands of people this summer.”
“The Colour Palace a joyful expression of everything that great art and architecture can be — fresh, exciting and inviting,” concludes Jennifer Scott, the Sackler director of Dulwich Picture Gallery. “The 2017 pavilion introduces new visitors to Dulwich Picture Gallery as well as championing emerging architectural talent. We are thrilled to be partnering with the London Festival of Architecture for a second time to create this distinctive summer destination.”