London’s 2019 Dulwich Pavilion Is an Exuberant Ode to Nigerian Fabric Markets

London’s 2019 Dulwich Pavilion Is an Exuberant Ode to Nigerian Fabric Markets

By Kathryn M.
Celebrating color, culture, and pattern, The Colour Palace by Yinka Ilori and Pricegore is now open to all—and even for sale.

Installed on the lawn of the Dulwich Picture Gallery as part of the 2019 London Festival of Architecture, The Colour Palace is a giant, 32-foot cube perched atop four chubby red cylinders. 

Created in collaboration by designer Yinka Ilori and architecture studio Pricegore, the bold, geometric pavilion pulsates with neon rainbow hues, and joyfully fuses European and African cultural traditions.

The popular Dulwich Pavilion returns with The Colour Palace, a dazzling 32-foot cube created by designer Yinka Ilori and architecture studio Pricegore.

Inspired by traditional African textiles found in Lagos, as well as the fabric markets of London’s Peckham neighborhood (which has a large Nigerian community), the dazzling cube also references the symmetric curves and right angles of the heritage-listed Dulwich Picture Gallery, completed in 1817 by Sir John Soane.

Resting on four huge red cylinders, the multi-colored structure encompasses a central arena where visitors can view the structure from numerous perspectives. 

The collaboration between designer Yinka Ilori (pictured) and Dingle Price and Alex Gore of Peckham–based firm Pricegore evolved from a random office visit. Once the two architects popped into Yinka's studio (which they designed) to see how the space was being used, they reached out to the designer, asking if he wanted to be involved in pitching a design for the Dulwich Pavilion competition.

A peek inside Ilori's upbeat, colorful studio. Since going solo in 2013, the London–based designer has become widely acclaimed for his ability to upcycle vintage furniture pieces with vibrant shades, shapes, and patterns. 

Like many of Ilori's creations, which blend contemporary design with his Nigerian heritage, The Colour Palace was inspired by the energetic sensations stemming from traditional African textiles found in Lagos, along with the multicolored fabric markets of the city's Peckham neighborhood, which has a large Nigerian community.

By overlapping rows of six-foot-long wooden battens—painted with a geometric pattern on the outside face, along with a different color on each side—the designers cleverly translated the inspiring effect of walking through the aisles of African fabric markets into architectural terms.

In partnership with the London Festival of Architecture 2019, The Colour Palace will be on view at the grounds of the Sir John Soane–designed gallery in South-East London until September 22. During this time, it will also be used for various free events and activities, such as yoga, podcast recordings, and workshops. 

Inside, the "backstage" area of the cube reveals a bright blue, wooden space-frame. Guests are invited to climb up the pink pair of processional staircases, where they can then wind through the structure, gazing upon the mesmerizing intersection of battens and wires.

Once the festival concludes, The Colour Palace will be available for sale through The Modern House, in partnership with Dulwich Picture Gallery. The proceeds of the structure will go to the gallery’s ongoing series of commissions, which aim at supporting up-and-coming local artists.

Like a dizzying spatial kaleidoscope, the walk around the raised gantry creates further optical illusions as glimpses of light can also be seen through the layers of colored fringe.

While the asking price of the structure starts at £25,000 (approx. $31,472), buyers will be responsible for the cost of transport and re-construction of the pavilion in its new location, which is estimated at around £44,000 (approx. $55,390).

Adding to the architectural style of Soane’s iconic Dulwich Picture Gallery, The Colour Palace beautifully fuses both European and African traditions—resulting in one captivating celebration.

Learn more about the pavilion and listing via The Modern House.

Project Credits: 

Architects: Dingle Price & Alex Gore of Pricegore / @pricegore

Designer: Yinka Ilori / @yinka_ilori


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