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Contest for Dulwich Picture Gallery pavilion announced

Dpg spring
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The London Festival of Architecture (LFA) has launched a design competition for a temporary events pavilion outside John Soane’s Grade II*-listed Dulwich Picture Gallery

The Dulwich Pavilion contest invites ‘fresh and exciting architectural talent’ to draw up proposals for the new structure. 

The winning design will be constructed in time for the start of next year’s LFA, and will mark the gallery’s 200th anniversary. The south London building is believed to be England’s oldest public gallery.

LFA director Tamsie Thomson said: ‘The Dulwich Pavilion project will be a highlight of the London Festival of Architecture 2017, and brings together the world’s oldest public gallery and the world’s largest public architecture festival.

‘The result will showcase emerging architectural talent, address some real practical issues facing Dulwich Picture Gallery, and offer a model that could be applied elsewhere. The competition is a fantastic opportunity for emerging architects to be inspired by the spirit and character of Soane’s building, and to produce a mini-masterpiece of their own.’

Ian Dejardin, the gallery’s Sackler director commented: ‘Soane’s design for Dulwich was groundbreaking when it opened in 1817, tackling the issue of how to illuminate paintings in a public space and at the same time producing an architectural solution of great beauty.

‘Today, 200 years on, we welcome over 200,000 visitors every year and face the challenges of many modern arts institutions to be able to offer our audiences more and use our spaces to generate income. Architectural problem-solving remains key to our survival and success. We look forward to offering an emerging architect the opportunity to work with us and the LFA on this exciting new venture.’

The innovative brick building features a series of interlinked, top-lit rooms which helped redefine standard approaches to art gallery design. Rick Mather Architects renovated the building and created a separate café and exhibition space nearby 16 years ago.

The temporary pavilion will host exhibitions, events, lectures and learning activities, and will allow the Dulwich Picture Gallery to meet growing visitor numbers and harness new revenue streams. Judges include Thomson, Dejardin, Carl Turner of Carl Turner Architects and River Café founder Ruth Rogers.

Up to three shortlisted teams will receive £500 each to draw up design concepts following an open expressions of interest round. The winning design is set to be announced in January, and will be constructed during the spring to complete in time for the next LFA, which starts on 1 June 2017.

The deadline for applications is 24 November.

How to apply

Visit the competition website for more information


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