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Clementine Blakemore reveals Design Museum Pavilion

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Architectural designer Clementine Blakemore and students at the Royal College of Art have built this pavilion based on the Design Museum’s hyperbolic paraboloid roof form


Responding to the theme of ‘Open’, the pavilion was commissioned as part of the museum’s annual Designers in Residence programme.

Located in the gardens within the Design Museum grounds, the pavilion spans a group of pre-existing benches, providing a sheltered space for gathering.

It was built during a week-long ‘co-construction’ workshop undertaken by students from a range of subjects.

Alongside hands-on making, the students documented the process, producing a film and a book which will be displayed inside the museum. 

Built from a series of parallel timber ribs, the structure demonstrates the double-curved form of the building’s iconic roof.

The timber structure is clad in lapped fibreglass shingles, which glow when lit in the evenings, allowing the pavilion to act like a lantern within the landscape.

The Design Museum’s new home at the former Commonwealth Institute in Kensington opens to the public today (24 November) after a £83 million revamp by John Pawson, OMA and Allies and Morrison.

The pavilion will remain outside the Design Museum for five months and after which it will be relocated to a new site outside of London.

Design Museum Pavilion by Clementine Blakemore

Design Museum Pavilion by Clementine Blakemore

Source: Luke Hayes

Architectural designer’s view

It has been a real privilege to work at the Design Museum, particularly at this moment of transition into its new home; the fact that our pavilion was being built as the renovation of the Museum was still underway meant there was a really exciting and productive atmosphere. 

The combination of curatorial input from the Museum, creative and imaginative engineers, a very skilled carpenter, and twelve engaged post-graduate design students from the RCA, allowed the project to become a really fertile ground for learning and exchange for everyone involved. 

Given the RCA’s proximity to the new Museum in Kensington, and the fact that I studied there myself, it was a perfect academic partner for the project. The Across RCA workshop, and support from the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design, provided a perfect platform through which to connect with some really interesting students form a range of different disciplines. The project exemplified the power of peer-to-peer learning, and learning through making. 

Through the generous provision of in-kind materials and services, each of the sponsors became partners – with the idea of exchange being at the core of the project. 

Clementine Blakemore

Design Museum Pavilion by Clementine Blakemore

Design Museum Pavilion by Clementine Blakemore

Project data

Location London
Type of project Cultural
Client The Design Museum
Architectural designer Clementine Blakemore
Structural engineer Structure Workshop
Lighting consultant Atrium
Main contractor Jan Ciechanowicz
Funding The Museum’s Designers In Residence programme, and the Royal College of Art ‘Across RCA’ programme
Appointment application to Designers In Residence 2016
Tender date design started at the beginning of August 2016
Start on site date October 2016
Completion date November 2016
Gross internal floor area 50m2
Total cost £3,250 (plus in-kind donations)

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