The Colour Palace has been unveiled as the second edition of the Dulwich Pavilion. The outcome of an open design competition organised by the Gallery and the London Festival of Architecture, The Colour Palace is a vibrant new addition for summer 2019 at Dulwich Picture Gallery, with a full programme of events planned.
This summer, the London Festival of Architecture explores ‘boundaries’ while Dulwich Picture Gallery celebrates ‘innovation’. These themes converge in The Colour Palace; a riotous, bold architectural fusion that crosses 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 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. 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.
Pricegore and Yinka Ilori’s Colour Palace is a testament to universal themes of colour, pattern and celebration. The design finds parallels between African and European cultures to create a building that reflects the diverse, cultural experience of south east 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 structure is assembled from thousands of individual pieces of hand-painted timber. The combination of these elements creates 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 and contrasting proximity.
About the team
Pricegore are an emerging architecture practice led by Dingle Price & Alex Gore who established their office in nearby Peckham 5 years ago. Situating each project within broader narratives of architectural and cultural history, their designs are collaborative and research based, leading to unexpected but relevant buildings. Yinka Ilori is a London-based multidisciplinary artist of British-Nigerian heritage, who specialises in storytelling by fusing his heritage in order to tell new stories in contemporary design.
The Colour Palace opens to the public on 12 June and will remain open until 22 September. It is intended that the demountable Pavilion will have a future life after its time in Dulwich, and The Modern House are working with Dulwich Picture Gallery to handle sales enquiries.
Dingle Price and Alex Gore said: “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. The Colour Palace has been a wonderful opportunity for us to design our first prominent civic building – alongside our exciting housing projects we hope it will lead to further civic and cultural projects and the chance to work with great
clients like Dulwich Picture Gallery.”
Yinka Ilori said: “The beauty of the Pavilion’s design is that that it stands bold and proud surrounded by the history Sir John Soane’s iconic building, celebrating history and culture. 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 colour 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 summer!”
Tamsie Thomson, Director of the London Festival of Architecture, said: “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. As one of the highlights of the 2019 London Festival of Archiecture, 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.”
Jennifer Scott, The Sackler Director of Dulwich Picture Gallery, said: “The Colour Palace is a joyful expression of everything that great art and architecture can be – fresh, exciting and inviting. We are thrilled to be partnering with the London Festival of Architecture for a second time to create this distinctive summer destination.”
Dulwich Picture Gallery
Dulwich Picture Gallery is the world’s first purpose built public gallery housing a collection of Old Master paintings alongside an internationally renowned exhibition programme. Entering Sir John Soane’s building visitors discover a surprisingly intimate gallery space that encourages contemplation and the discovery of personal connections with historic works of art. The Gallery is a registered charity with income from ticket sales accounting for 22% of the Gallery’s annual running costs and the remainder raised through a mix of fundraising, retail and private hire activity. The Dulwich Pavilion series is a transformative project for the Gallery, allowing it to test solutions to overcome a lack of existing space and introduce a wider audience to its collection, building and programme. The Gallery’s summer 2019 exhibition programme includes Cutting Edge: Modernist British Printmaking, showcasing pioneering printmakers from the 1930s and Sumi, an eight-metre-long papercut crocodile by sculptor Nahoko Kojima.
London Festival of Architecture
The London Festival of Architecture (LFA) is the world’s largest annual architecture festival, celebrating London as a global architectural hub and promoting positive change to its public realm. In June 2018 the festival explored the theme ‘identity’ through a public programme of over 500 events across London, in pursuit of a mission to support London architectural talent, enthuse and engage with the public, and fine new ways to look at familiar places. The festival’s public events programme returns from the capital from 1-30 June 2019, while in the meantime the LFA continues to shape London’s architectural discourse and public realm through a series of design competitions, campaigns and other initiatives.
Photos by Adam Scot.