Dallas–Pierce–Quintero

Pump House Pavillion

The Pump House Pavilion was a two-year commission for the design of a temporary architectural space to extend the Pump House Gallery’s limited space in Battersea Park. It formed part of cultural programmes in Battersea and Nine Elms and Battersea and in line with the client’s interest in engaging young people in STEM learning, the project offered a hands-on design experience for local students.

We commissioned Neon to deliver a pop-up pavilion in Battersea Park
We commissioned Neon to deliver a pop-up pavilion in Battersea Park
We commissioned Neon to deliver a pop-up pavilion in Battersea Park

As part of our longer term Cultural Strategy for St William’s Prince of Wales Drive developmentoutside Battersea Park, we envisaged this commission as an opportunity to bring together a design team including local young people to create an innovative structure to house an events programme. The designers ran workshops with the young people from Chestnut Grove Academy over 3 months.

 

The students wanted the pavilion to be bold and contemporary but also reference the history and the former function of the Pump House. Built in 1861 adjacent to the park’s 3-hectare lake, the Grade II listed former Pump House housed a coal-fired steam engine and pump to circulate water in the lake, water plants and drive artificial rockwork cascades on the north bank of the lake.

We partnered Chestnut Grove Academy with designers NEON to design a pavilion
We partnered Chestnut Grove Academy with designers NEON to design a pavilion
We partnered Chestnut Grove Academy with designers NEON to design a pavilion
We partnered Chestnut Grove Academy with designers NEON to design a pavilion

The design celebrated the water pipes that flowed to the lake, whilst a visible scaffold structure references nearby redevelopment construction. Coloured pipes formed a series of repeated, distorting arches, echoing the iconic front entrance of the Pump House, creating a distinctive hypnotic “op-art” effect, intended to lure the public into the pavilion and producing the sensual experience the students were keen to achieve.

We wanted the project to engage young people in the design of the pavilion to expose them to the realities of a design project and the different roles required to deliver them. A professional panel including the funder and local authority interviewed the short-listed candidates as did the students. The young people unanimously chose designers NEON for the commission, supported by Elliot Wood engineers.

“It’s great to see a partnership project with the developer St William and young people from Chestnut Grove Academy. They have created something so unique and special. Well done.”

Ravi Govindia
Leader of Wandsworth Council
Commissioned by D-P-Q, NEON proposed an innovative temporary design
Commissioned by D-P-Q, NEON proposed an innovative temporary design
Axonometric view
Plan view
Front and side view
Inspiration for the Pump House Pavilion

At D-P-Q, we managed the entire commissioning process from creating the strategic partnerships, brief-writing, managing the open call, short-listing and monitoring progress with the designers. We ran an open call to provide the widest range of artists/designers to appoint from.

We partnered with Wandsworth Council’s Pump House Gallery and the Pavillion became the launch venue for Wandsworth Arts Fringe, the borough’s annual festival of 140 shows in 65 venues. With the students, the Pump House team commissioned an events programme and Pavillion hosted free screenings, workshops, performances, family activities and creative experiences.

Inside, spools for storing pipes were used to form seating and tables to further celebrate the use of everyday construction materials. The pavilion was re-installed and re-animated in 2018 as part of the London Festival of Architecture.

 

Launch venue for Wandsworth Arts Fringe
Launch venue for Wandsworth Arts Fringe
Launch venue for Wandsworth Arts Fringe

The Pump House Pavilion was part of our Cultural Strategy for St William’s Prince of Wales Drive development, a series of temporary and permanent commissions to animate and embed local heritage within this large mixed-use scheme and to engage the local community in the process.

“The vision and enthusiasm of the students involved has been truly impressive, and an inspiration to the St William team. It’s been a pleasure to be a part of the workshops that have led to the final design – which is bold and beautiful.”

Ravi Govindia
Leader of Wandsworth Council

Prince of Wales Drive, London
2016-ongoing
St William

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