Luminous glow – the lighting on John Wardle’s summer pavilion

The National Gallery of Victoria’s first-ever Summer Architecture Commission by John Wardle Architects is a luminous nine metre-high structure that’s transformed the NGV’s backyard. The theatrical design doubles as a dynamic event space and place of retreat, shedding pink shadows by day and lighting by night in a breathtaking glow.

John Wardle Architects is regarded for a strong diversity of work, which includes the Melbourne School of Design, Westfield Sydney City Commercial Tower and the award-winning Shearers Quarters in Tasmania. The Summer Architecture Commission was created through 3D modeling, advanced engineering and fabrication systems and the creative vision that John Wardle is known for.

The structure features a grid shell that spans 21 meters with some 1,650 die cut, hand folded pink, purple and orange polypropylene shade elements. These 3D textile elements are individually suspended to create a textural skin that provides colourful shade by day and an evocative glow by night.

John Wardle Architects approached Electrolight to collaborate on the project. Electrolight’s vision for the design was to integrate a lighting solution within the architectural elements and enhance the theatrical nature of the installation at night.

“The concept takes advantage of the translucent coloured materiality of the pavilion by integrating lengths of LED strip to illuminate the sub structure and repetition of polycarbonate forms,” says Jess Perry, Electrolight’s director and head of design. We approached Light Project to see if they would be interested in supplying the light fittings on the project, and together we fine tuned the design based on available LED strips.”

We were more than happy to support this wonderful public project, which is located in the NGV International’s Grollo Equiset Garden. It’s a striking design by day, but we’re especially fond of its dramatic nocturnal glow.

The Summer Architecture Commission: John Wardle Architects will be on display at NGV International until 1 May 2016. Open daily from 10am-5pm. Free entry.

Love light sculpture? Check out Light Origami, by Kaz Shirane, wtih Arup, AMP and Light Project.

Photography: John Gollings, courtesy of NGV