Charles Holland Architects, Ripon, 2018



Charlotte Graham & Chris Lacey     Download Original

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This summer pavilion – affectionately known as 'Polly' – was located in the grounds of Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal in North Yorkshire during 2018.

It was commissioned by the National Trust as a temporary pavilion replacing a long-lost folly within the beautiful water gardens of FASR, a World Heritage Site.

Polly is a 9m-high timber-clad tower that takes its inspiration from a history of follies and manageries and from the exotic flora and fauna that were often displayed in picturesque gardens. Sited on Tent Hill, a prominent natural mound within the gardens, the structure nestles amongst the trees as a brightly coloured and exotic creature.

Polly's 'head' contains a lens that projects an image of this exterior landscape onto a circular table placed within the interior. The head can be rotated so that the view changes, scanning the horizon and animating the structure within its landscape setting.

Polly draws on a number of other themes including an early 18th century painting by Jakab Bogdany called Parrots and a Lizard in Picturesque Landscape and the ornamental parrots that appear in William Burgess' church of St. Mary's in the grounds of Studley Royal. Tent Hill gains its name from a colourful ‘campaign tent’ that was placed there in the mid-18th century.

Polly’s plumage and angled, tent-like form refers to this previous structure. The name Polly also refers to the Greek legend of Polyphemus, a one-eyed Cyclops.

The pavilion structure was designed to be temporary and easily demountable and to be as uninstrusive as possible. The steel frame superstructure is connected to a wide and shallow steel web foundation that floats well above the archaeological remains of previous the follies on Tent Hill.


  • Begun: Apr 2018
  • Completed: May 2018
  • Floor area: 14m2
  • Sector: Arts and culture
  • Total cost: £60,000
  • Funding: Arts Council
  • Tender date: Nov 2017
  • Procurement: Bespoke
  • Address: Fountains Abbey, Studley Royal, Ripon, HG4 3DY, United Kingdom

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