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Dulwich Pavilion—‘After Image’—is a temporary structure at the Dulwich Picture Gallery and formed the centre-piece of the London Festival of Architecture 2017. The structure provides a flexible events space, with a bar pod incorporated to serve food and drink. Using reflection as a tool to mediate between the monolithic nature of Sir John Soane’s gallery and the surrounding landscape, the pavilion creates new, intense and lasting experiences for the gallery’s visitors.
Responding to the solidity and monolithic nature of Sir John Soane’s gallery, and the porous, ever-changing nature of the landscape, After Image mediates between the two, breaking down their delineation and creating a new visual experience for the gallery’s visitors. A series of translucent mirrored screens—some fixed, some movable—reflect and disrupt the context. Fragments of the building appear in the landscape, and fragments of the landscape in the building, while the translucency of the screens creates an overlay of moving images: of building, of landscape, of personal reflection and of others beyond.
The pavilion’s simple rectangular form responds directly to that of the existing building. When closed, the panels form a strong axial alignment of the bar and the square plan of the event space, while the horizontal banding of the elevation—the plinth, mesh veil and roof structure—echoes the datums of the gallery. The lightness of the structure, by contrast, engages with the wider landscape, and with the lanterns of the gallery. The timber truss roof and surrounding veil create a canopy-like environment, with their shadows—and the reflections of shadows—adding to the layering of images, and to the interplay of space, perception and memory.