If you go down to Broadgate London today, you’re sure of a big surprise. No, really. Geometric textile designer Camille Walala has taken over Exchange Square as part of London Design Festival and if you do have time to pop round the back of Liverpool Street station you’ll find that a huge inflatable Walala building has been erected with the support of London Design Festival Headline Partner, British Land.
While you may have seen the installation listed as numero uno in my LDF guide, I can now 100% confirm that the Walala-designed space lives up to expectation and more. With seven super saturated colours and sprinkle and stripe vinyls surrounding the main inflation, the castle of colour is a theatrical and invitingly soft-touch structure made from ‘blocks’ of vinyl, sealed PVC inners and high-strength nylon. Created out of 1,200 square-metres of printed vinyl, weighing over 515 kilograms in weight, it took 50 people 1,200 hours to make.
Considering the surrounding corporate work environment of high-rise office blocks, the installation is a welcome addition to the to the sense of serious purpose that drives the area. The ‘villa’ adds a welcome source of playfulness, highlighting the buzz of Broadgate London that does present itself during lunch hours and after-work drinks. A childlike atmosphere in a sea of suits and shiny shoes (or amazing red pom-pom ones like these babes from Studio B Fashion), this really is an escape from reality.
“I wanted to create something that played to this idea of escaping the office, but which also was a surprising contrast to the architectural context – something colourful and playful that would make the people of Broadgate stop and smile.”
~ Camille Walala
And with big grins all around, I can confirm that this is exactly what Villa Walala does. Well, that and make people dream of it as an actual bouncy castle…
INFO: Villa Walala is open until Sunday 24th September 2017 and can be accessed via Liverpool Street Station.
Broadgate London EC2M 3WA, UK