British artist Morag Myerscough has created a colourful pavilion for London’s Canary Wharf financial district that responds to the easing of coronavirus restrictions by encouraging people to “spend time safely together”.
The Sun Pavilion occupies a spot in Montgomery Square near the where it is surrounded by the steel and glass high-rise buildings synonymous with the area and the recently completed One Park Drive cylindrical skyscraper by Herzog & de Meuron.
The pavilion was created as part of Canary Wharf’s summer events programme and is the latest addition to its public art collection, which features more than 75 permanent works.
Constructed from wood with metal awnings, the installation includes a stage and a colourful seating area that provides a place to eat lunch, meet friends or listen to music.
“The pavilion is a response to the reawakening we are hopeful for this summer,” said Myerscough, referring to the recent easing of COVID-19 restrictions in England.
“The aim is people will gravitate towards it and just spend time safely together.”
The design intentionally contrasts with its surroundings and features Myerscough’s signature colourful treatment, along with the sun motif she has applied in previous projects including a biophilic cafe erected in the atrium of a London office building.
“The sun radiates energy and brings joy and we all need a bit of it,” said the designer.
“The pure glow of the sun ignites us all and raises our spirits. There is nothing better than the feeling of the warm glow of the sun on your face.”
Nestled among the glittering towers, the pavilion’s compact scale and materiality encourage passersby to stop, relax and spend time together.
“It is important that it has human scale and is made by humans,” said Myerscough. “We have lived in a virtual internal world for the last year and it is now important to be outside with others and hear the sounds of people around us.”
Planters, which are incorporated into both the seating areas and the pavilion, add a natural complement to the colourfully painted surfaces.
The Sun Pavilion was installed in May 2021 and is free for the public to visit until late October 2021.
As part of the free arts and events programme, Canary Wharf also commissioned local designer Yinka Ilori to create a colourful basketball court for public use.
Myerscough’s east-London studio regularly works on projects that use colour, pattern and words to change how people perceive urban environments. Her work forms part of the New London Fabulous design movement.
The photography is by Gareth Gardner.
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