Yinka Ilori Will Bring a Touch of Lagos to Dulwich With His Winning Pavilion Design

Winning design for Dulwich Pavilion 2019
Winning design for Dulwich Pavilion 2019 | © Dulwich Picture Gallery

Architecture & Design Editor

Artist Yinka Ilori is bringing the vibrancy of Lagos to London with his competition-winning pavilion design for Dulwich Picture Gallery.

Ilori will be teaming up with architecture practice Pricegore to deliver the second Dulwich Pavilion for summer 2019, which fuses European and African cultural traditions.

‘The Colour Palace’ will be a striking contrast to the more sombre Sir John Soane gallery building, drawing inspiration from the colourful Dutch wax prints found in the markets of the African city.

A model of the pavilion in the garden of Dulwich Picture Gallery

The British-Nigerian designer’s structure also reflects London’s rich multicultural fabric by mirroring nearby Peckham’s ‘Little Lagos’, which is where architecture firm Pricegore is based.

The multi-layered textiles of the Lagos market have been translated in Ilori’s rainbow-coloured design by overlapping layers of timber battens, which have then been painted with alternating geometric patterns on each face.

The timber battens have been painted with bold shapes

The overall effect promises to be mesmerising, with the bright yellow circles shapeshifting into magenta triangles as you walk around the structure.

Ilori and Pricegore’s technicolour castle was selected from six shortlisted proposals for the open competition, which is co-organised by London Festival of Architecture.

The biennial commission is designed to be a platform for up-and-coming talent rather than established designers, with Ilori up against 150 entries in this year’s competition.

The timber structure will sit on top of round concrete stumps

“We are thrilled to win the competition,” said Pricegore’s Dingle Price. “Despite its temporary nature, it is a fantastic opportunity for us to design a prominent and celebratory civic building that will enrich the cultural offer of the Dulwich Picture Gallery and complement Soane’s masterpiece.”

The temporary outdoor structure will become a stage for a range of talks, performances and yoga classes during the architecture festival, which will run throughout June next year.

The gantry will provide visitors with a viewing point for events held in the pavilion

Ilori is known for salvaging and upcycling furniture, and it is hoped the pavilion will be recycled after the event thanks to its modular design, which can be reconfigured into a shelter or multiple structures on a smaller scale.

“This innovative, colourful space will act as a beacon of creativity and inclusion for visitors of all ages and backgrounds,” said Jennifer Scott, the Sackler Director of Dulwich Picture Gallery. “We’re hugely grateful to the public for joining in the vote and for supporting us as we showcase emerging talent within the extraordinary setting of the world’s first purpose-built art gallery.”

The pavilion will be a bold contrast to the brick Grade II-listed gallery

The annual pavilion competition has proved to be a great springboard for emerging talent, with last year’s winners IF_DO achieving critical acclaim with its sleek ‘After Image’ entry. The firm has since enjoyed global exposure, tripling in size, and has won a number of contracts for new projects including a sixth-form college and studio complex.

Read more about last year’s project here.

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