Designed by a team of young architects working at Foster + Partners, ‘Rainbow After The Storm’ – the winning installation in the LFA and Architecture LGBT+’s Pride Pop-Up competition – has been unveiled in the gardens of St Anne’s Church in Soho
Despite the cancellation of the 2021 Pride in London parade, this bright, engaging and colourful pavilion will be in place and open to the public until 26 September 2021 – celebrating the contribution of LGBT+ architects to architecture past and present.
The installation will also be in place for Inside Out Festival and the Soho Live festival, which is an official partner for the project alongside Westminster Council, the RIBA, and St Anne’s Church.
‘Rainbow After The Storm’ stands as a reminder that, for the LGBTQ+ community, Covid-19 is not the first pandemic of recent times. Just as Covid-19 has paralysed communities worldwide, the global HIV crisis has had a disproportionate effect upon LGBTQ+ people, their families, and friends. ‘Rainbow After The Storm’ reflects on the experiences and responses to these two health emergencies, while evoking a message of positivity and togetherness, and signalling the end of the fear, stigma and loneliness in times of adversity.
The pavilion features two portals, representing the HIV and Covid-19 pandemics. The small, compressed entrances to these are shaped to allow only one person to enter at a time. The journey starts out as dark and slightly uncomfortable, symbolising the fear, uncertainty and isolation people have been through during both pandemics. The portals gradually become lighter and bigger towards the centre, creating a light-filled arena that hopes to bring people together and highlight the power of the collective.
‘Rainbow After The Storm’ uses architecture to express hope, and the vibrant rainbow-coloured structure – constructed from lightweight timber and coloured rope – celebrates both the LGBT+ community and the NHS as communities continue to emerge from the pandemic.
The winning team – who all worked remotely to develop the design – comprises Tyler Thurston, Katia Egiziano, Melinda de Wet, Elizabetta Della Vedova, Alessandra Sonvico, Samantha McDougall, Jorge Gomez Bernal, Rupert Inman, George Goldsmith, Mrinal Rammohan, Anna Griesi, Andres Gonzalez, Angel Garcia, Laura Suico, Hamza Farooq, Nathan Langdon, Amy Burruss and Hannah Gasparutti.
The ‘Pride Pop Up’ competition was open to architecture students, recent graduates, emerging practices as well as representatives from more established practices, with entirely blind judging undertaken by an expert panel including:
- Tom Guy (chair, Architecture LGBT+)
- Sarah Akigbogun (creative director, Studio Aki and vice-chair, Women in Architecture)
- Anne Cosentino (equality, diversity and inclusion manager, RIBA)
- Revd Simon Buckley (rector, St Anne’s Church, Soho)
- George Hudson (producer Soho Live Studios)
- Matthew Pendleton (principal design, conservation and sustainability officer, Westminster Council)
- Rob Wilson (architecture editor, The Architects’ Journal).
Four other teams from Studio Lux, Up Architects, Andre Kong and Allies and Morrison received commendations and their proposals are on display at www.architecturelgbt.com, together with images of all shortlisted entries.