Dulwich Picture Gallery’s 2019 pavilion The Colour Palace, created in partnership with the London Festival of Architecture, will be repurposed by architecture studio alma-nac. 150 vibrant outdoor planters will be created through a cross-school and community partner project.

Project Name: Dulwich Pavilion Repurposed For Local Schools
Architect Name: alma-nac

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The iconic structure, designed by Pricegore and Yinka Ilori, featuring over 2,000 slatted timber louvres in bright, striking colours, has been deconstructed for distribution throughout Southwark, Lambeth, and beyond, to participating schools and community sites.

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The timber will be provided free of charge along with an easy flat-pack instruction kit. Schools will be encouraged to maximise the learning opportunities by integrating the construction into Design Technology provision or through collaborative events with parents and pupils.

h Pavilion Repurposed For Local Schools By alma-nac - Sheet5The modular planters have been designed through making sessions between alma-nac and pupils at Dulwich Prep London. The initiative started with pupils taking part in a playground journey to explore which spaces would be suitable for planters. Participating schools will be encouraged to take a similar site-specific approach. alma-nac will lead a workshop demo during a launch day at the Gallery in early spring 2020.

h Pavilion Repurposed For Local Schools By alma-nac - Sheet6100% of the pavilion’s cladding and structural timber will be recycled for the planters. Confirmed schools include Kingsdale Foundation School, Pilgrims’ Way, Ark Walworth Academy, Dulwich College, Harris Primary Academy, Dulwich Prep London, Hollydale Primary School, John Donne Primary School, Dulwich Village Infants’ School and Goose Green Primary School.

h Pavilion Repurposed For Local Schools By alma-nac - Sheet7In addition to a sustainable legacy for the timber, Build Up Foundation – which runs practical construction projects for young people aged 6-23 years – will use the decking timber and marine ply which has been gifted by the Gallery.

The Colour Palace was a summer highlight for the Gallery, as well as the capital, welcoming over 90,000 visitors. Designed to resonate with multicultural London, the striking structure provided versatile events and welcome space and was hailed by critics for its innovative design.

Jennifer Scott, The Sackler Director at Dulwich Picture Gallery, said: “I’m thrilled that The Colour Palace will have a second life. Nearly 90,000 people enjoyed this year’s inventive design here at the Gallery. I hope it will continue to inspire others and become an integral part of south-east London.”


Tristan Wigfall, Director, alma-nac, said:

“Having gained experience working with a range of schools within Dulwich, we were excited to consider the long-term legacy of The Colour Palace. We saw it as an opportunity for the vibrant identity of the original design to be dispersed into the wider community as a means of ‘seeding’ further discussions and to provide a series of cultural markers that clearly conveys their previous incarnation. By repurposing the colourful and distinctive cladding we have created a component-based flat-pack design which the pupils themselves can assemble and curate.”

h Pavilion Repurposed For Local Schools By alma-nac - Sheet10Tamsie Thomson, Director of the London Festival of Architecture, said: “To see The Colour Palace in its new ‘upcycled’ from being enjoyed by our next generation is really exciting. Not only has it created spatial experiences within its colourful shell, but it will also go on to occupy other spaces in a completely different way. Its legacy is an important lesson in prioritising a circular economy, not just in the arts but in every sector.”

Melanie Mortimer, Head of Design Technology at Dulwich Prep London, said: “We are grateful and excited to help enable the re-purposing of The Colour Palace. It has already proved a brilliant initiative to help explore ideas around ‘line assembly’ and ‘unit production’ to produce the prototype planters. We look forward to working with the other partner schools to help support similar projects and pass on our learnings.”


Rethinking The Future (RTF) is a Global Platform for Architecture and Design. RTF through more than 100 countries around the world provides an interactive platform of highest standard acknowledging the projects among creative and influential industry professionals.

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