Dulwich Pavilion

Dulwich Picture Gallery
Dulwich, London

A temporary structure for a programme of summer activities, our design was shortlisted in the London Festival of Architecture’s 2019 competition.

Project details

Dulwich Picture Gallery was designed by Sir John Soane and opened in 1817. Its grand series of interlinked, top-lit spaces creates an elegant enfilade, naturally guiding visitors into and then along the length of the building.

Our pavilion, placed directly in front of the gallery’s main entrance, extended this path, pulling the building’s axis into the grounds and symbolically out into its surrounding context. This bold move created a colourful connection through the gallery. It led visitors from the street, through a series of vibrant modulated spaces, all the way to the yellow light of the central mausoleum.

The lightweight frame was built from recycled scaffolding and supported a waterproof membrane roof above bright translucent panels. These layered arches cast rainbows across the timber floor, creating a colourful promenade into the gallery.

A temporary welcome space, the pavilion offered reception, cloakroom facilities, and an events space for up to 200 people. It was a wayfinding device: directing visitors towards the gallery’s main entrance, while inviting them to participate in activities. To meet the brief’s tight budget (£60K), we chose recycled and standard industrial materials, economically and elegantly arranged to achieve maximum impact with minimal input. The structure was designed to be easily deconstructed and re-used.

Combining architectural formality with coloured natural light we hope Sir John would delight in, our pavilion was a summer celebration of architecture: a contemporary spin on Soane.

Dulwich Pavilion exterior approach
Dulwich Pavilion structure
Dulwich Pavilion colour fade
Dulwich Pavilion birds eye view
Dulwich Pavilion roof structure
“…a joyful design which spoke to and displayed an understanding of Sir John Soane’s use of light and the importance of considering structural distribution within architecture…a strong contender for the final choice.” - Dulwich Picture Gallery
Dulwich Pavilion events space
Dulwich Pavilion isometric drawing
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