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ArchitectureDoingPlace unwraps contest-winning ‘Portobello Pavilion’

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Emerging practice ArchitectureDoingPlace has completed this contest-winning temporary pavilion in Powis Square, west London

The West End studio – founded by architect David Ogunmuyiwa in 2015 – won the annual commission in a charrette process against rivals OMMX, Practice Architecture, West Port and Co, and The Decorators.

Construction of The Portobello Pavilion completed on Monday (10 September) as part of the London Design Festival and will be open to the public with a variety of events and activities until Sunday 16 September.

Highlights include JC Kamau’s film Grenfell Inspired Art, a crowd-sourced artwork by Toby Laurent-Belson, and plays and talks about stop and search; the forced deportation of British Citizens to the countries of their birth; and the history of social justice in the UK.

The charrette contest to find a designer for the project was organised by the Museum of Architecture and held in the Tabernacle opposite Powis Square earlier this year.

Participating practices were given one hour to draw up proposals in response to a local history presentation and design brief.

Concepts were required to harness performativity, promote close engagement with the local community and deploy the innovative use of materials and modular structures.

The winning scheme was praised by judges for its sensitive approach to the local context and attention to the rich history of Powis Square.

Ogunmuyiwa, who is one the 50 architects and design experts appointed in 2017 as mayoral design advocates to London mayor Sadiq Khan, said: ‘The tiny budget, month-long process from start to finish and in-kind materials from FINSA UK allowed us to produce an improvised, spatial intervention to explore a distinctive community. You can see Grenfell Tower across Portobello Road.

’There was no need to activate an already vibrant public realm, but we wanted to create a “clearing” within the existing pattern of ownership (council estate next to expensive Regency town houses) where people could share a positive experience together.

’The pavilion will host a curated series of arts events and workshops, including an architectural “Brilliant School” with designer Sahra Hersi, to coincide with the London Design Festival. We are focused on social housing and arts projects.

He added: ’The charrette and subsequent project, was a great opportunity for us to express our practice values of intricate placemaking applied at various scales. We were also pleased to collaborate with the sort of diverse architectural talent in the capital that often struggle for opportunities for authorship of their built environment.’

The project’s backers include the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea’s Arts & Culture Service and the curators of the local authority’s annual InTRANSIT festival.

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