‘Rainbow After The Storm’ – a colourful and interactive pavilion designed by a team of young architects working at Foster + Partners – has been named as the winner of the ‘Pride Pop Up’ competition organised by Architecture LGBT+ and the London Festival of Architecture.
Despite the cancellation of the 2021 Pride in London parade, the lightweight pop up will be installed in September in the gardens of St Anne’s Church in Soho, celebrating the contribution of LGBT+ architects to architecture past and present. ‘Rainbow After The Storm’ 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.
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. ‘Rainbow After The Storm’ will be revealed at St Anne’s Church from 12th September 2021, and will then be in place and open to the public until 26th September 2021.
‘Rainbow After The Storm’ will stand 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. Moving from a small compressed entrance to an open central social space, ‘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 ‘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), the 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 and Rob Wilson (architecture editor, The Architects’ Journal).
The winning team – who all worked remotely to develop their design – comprises Tyler Thurston, Katia Egiziano, Melinda de Wet, Elisabetta 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.
Tyler Thurston, Foster + Partners, said:
“We are delighted to have won the Pride Pop Up design competition, a project that reflects our shared beliefs on inclusivity, diversity, and togetherness. We saw it as an opportunity to explore how architecture can make a positive contribution to society and serve as a beacon of light in times of adversity. We are extremely excited to see how our vision comes to life within the picturesque setting of St Anne’s Church in Soho.”
Rosa Rogina, director of programme at the London Festival of Architecture, said:
“’Rainbow After The Storm’ is an intriguing and beautiful structure that is at once thought-provoking, hopeful and celebratory. It is a worthy winner of our Pride Pop Up competition and I’m really looking forward to seeing it in place in September. We had a fantastic range of entries in the competition, and once again I’m proud that the London Festival of Architecture is able to celebrate the amazing contribution of LGBT+ architects to our profession and wider society.”
Tom Guy, chair, Architecture LGBT+ said:
“There may not be a Pride parade in London this year, but we were nevertheless determined to celebrate the contribution of LGBT+ architects, and thanks to the determination of our project partners we can. We were impressed by how the winning team overcame the challenges of remote working to produce a fantastic design, which brings together the difficulties the LGBT+ community and the wider world have faced, while symbolising hope for the future.”