Dulwich Pavilion

Structural Designer


Client Name

Dulwich Picture Gallery


London, United Kingdom

Weber Industries

If_DO Images: © Agnese Sanvito, Joakim Boren & StructureMode


StructureMode and IF_DO architects won a national competition to design and build this pavilion, commissioned to celebrate the Dulwich Picture Gallery’s 200th anniversary year. The elegant and lightweight timber roof appears to float 5.5m in the air, suspended by only three mirrored panels that are 5cm thick. All other mirrored panels are removable to provide a flexible event space. A system of reusable ground screws for the foundations were used so they could be easily removed without damaging the grass. Prefabrication and preassembly of most elements before delivery to site allowed the pavilion to be built in only three weeks on site, achieving a very tight programme and keeping disruption to a minimum.

Judge's comment:

Won by the team in an open competition, the pavilion structure encompasses a lightweight timber roof supported on mirrored panels that are only 5cm thick. The space inside is flexible since all the other panels can be moved around, a creative touch for a celebratory canopy. The engineers, architects and manufacturers worked very closely together to fine-tune the details to ensure most elements could be made off-site. This enabled a very tight programme of just three weeks on-site, and achieved this within the small budget. The pavilion has a lasting legacy, and has brought value to a local school, to whom it was donated to create a permanent covered play and performance area. The judges admired the careful detailing of the structure and the quality of the finished pavilion to a small budget, and its lasting legacy to the community.

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