Park Here and Play: The Redscape Pavilion

McCloy + Muchemwa, Leeds, 2017

 

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Temporary pavilion and transformation of the public realm to facilitate a community arts festival. Installed to celebrate the re-opening of Leeds Art Gallery in 2017.

The Redscape Pavilion was the temporary architectural backdrop to a summer of community focused arts programmes where more than 5,000 visitors celebrated the re-opening of Leeds Art Gallery. By activating the public realm, the programme aims to breakdown the perceived ‘barriers’ that the Leeds Art Gallery is in anyway intimidating or exclusive.

In homage to the 100th anniversary of Marcel Duchamp's 'Fountain', the pavilion aims to flip perceptions about the nature of art, simple everyday objects and public space. Hundreds of stackable road barriers are used to interrupt pedestrian flows through the square; the configuration is maze-like where the visitor can discover courtyards and intimate covered spaces. The concept is driven by playful interaction and creates a natural and welcoming experience.

Victoria Gardens has several popular and important features that the pavilion's spatial arrangement responds to - these include: The Cenotaph, gallery step-seating, and artworks by Joseph Beuys and Henry Moore. Cushions and red carpets invite visitors to stay for much longer periods than they would otherwise, children and adults can play in and around the structures or get involved with the events and art workshops. The project emphasises that square and the gallery are for everyone, and that play, art and the historical context can be experimented with.

The red colour is vigorous and immersive, but achieved simply by using materials that are fully-reusable or recyclable; the barriers subsequently returning to their infrastructural duties on the streets and motorways of Leeds.

The pavilion was commissioned as part of Park Here and Play, a collaboration between Leeds City Council, Leeds Art Gallery and DLA. McCloy + Muchemwa consulted on all aspects of design and coordination, engaging with various stakeholders (including young people) after winning a design competition organised with the Leeds Beckett University Project Office.

Data

  • Begun: Aug 2017
  • Completed: Aug 2017
  • Floor area: 72m2
  • Sectors: Public realm, Arts and culture, Landscape design, Education
  • Total cost: £39,000
  • Funding: Various
  • Tender date: Jul 2017
  • Procurement: Bespoke
  • Address: Victoria Square Gardens, Leeds Art Gallery, The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 3AA, United Kingdom

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