Southwark Pavilion from Bell Philips Architects Longlisted for 2021 Dezeen Awards

Southwark Pavilion has been selected as part of the 300 strong longlist for the Dezeen Awards 2021. The 300 selected were chosen from 4,700 entries spanning 87 different countries. While the shortlist is due to be announced in September, it is great to see our client selected so far!

The Pavilion, for Southwark Council, consolidates park offices, a cafe and public WCs that overlook the lake. The flowing facades of white brick sweep the eye towards the water, children’s playing area and fields.

As is typical of parkland pavilions, Bell Phillips’ pavilion has a graceful repose within the landscape. The pavilion is a discreet element with three wings which extend out into the park, creating triple-aspect views. The organic form of the pavilion is derived from the curved geometry of the park’s historic pathways, the Oval playing fields and the adjacent lake edge. This results in a form that extends into the landscape and welcomes users from all directions.

The arm that overlooks the lake has been extended to provide expansive views over both the lake and Oval, while the northern facade of the building is angled to create a strong relationship with both the gallery and the existing route to the Oval from Gomm Road.

The white finish of the brickwork helps to create a relationship between the structure and the CGP Gallery, founded in 1984 by The Bermondsey Artists’ Group. Furthermore, the material contrasts with the surrounding planting and emphasises the movement and shadows of nearby trees.

Despite the pavilion’s lightness of design approach, it adds definition to the spaces around it. Where it addresses the Oval, the pavilion creates a sense of a ‘distinct space’, something the Oval had lost over time. In addition, the design works to create a sheltered area that allows the café to spill onto the lake edge.

The relationship between the pavilion, the lake and its leafy banks evoke an image of the urban idyll. From afar the form of the pavilion appears modern, minimalistic and planar, avoiding clustering or obscuring the skyline. Close up however the delicacy of the form becomes apparent; in this manner, it recalls the picturesque modernism of the pavilions, porticoes and grottos of the historic Ranelagh and Vauxhall pleasure gardens. In contrast to these, however, BPA’s new pavilion is not about exclusivity or elitism, rather inclusivity and enjoyment for all.


See the full longlist selection here




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