Marking the 15th anniversary of London Design Festival, Camille Walala has created a huge inflatable structure titled Villa Walala set in the Exchange Square in Broadgate. Known for her bold use of colour and pattern, the textile designer turned installation artist is determined to transform the hard textures and muted colours of Broadgate into a vibrant-hued, squishy-textured celebration of playfulness.
Villa Walala is a boisterously colourful and invitingly soft-touch structure made from ‘blocks’ of vinyl, sealed PVC inners and high- strength nylon, adorned with Walala’s characteristic digitally printed patterns.
The blocks have been inflated by fans, turning them from flat shapes into three-dimensional forms. The blocks form of a huge architectural landscape that stops passers-by in their tracks and invites them to step away from the every day, even if just for a moment. The villa’s vibrant tones, tactile surfaces and engaging shapes are designed to complement and enhance the recreational function of Broadgate, while providing a striking contrast to the typical colours and textures of its surroundings.
“Exchange Square is very much a ‘Breakout Space’ for people working on the campus; so it felt like something playful and maybe even a little childlike could underline and enhance this aspect of the environment,” said Camille Walala. “Originally, I wanted to create a giant stress ball or something you could go and squeeze if you needed to, but that proved technically impossible, so my thoughts led me to other things that feel good to squeeze – a giant inflatable seemed an excellent option. I wanted something that played to this idea of escaping the office and winding down.”
all images © Andy Stagg | courtesy of London Design Festival