London Design Festival: The Smile

London Design Festival: The Smile

16 Sep - 12 Oct 2016

10am to 9pm

Over nine days in September, the London Design Festival features hundreds of events taking place across London, showcasing the city’s pivotal role in global design. 

As part of this year’s Festival, Chelsea College of Arts’s Rootstein Hopkins Parade Ground will host Alison Brooks Architect’s The Smile, designed in collaboration with Arup. This 34m pavilion is one of six Landmark Projects, specially commissioned pieces of work created by some of the world’s greatest architects and designers, situated in London’s best-loved public spaces.

This temporary structure will stand virtually motionless in the college’s open-air display space opposite Tate Britain, despite two swooping, curved 12m cantilevered sections that create the illusion of instability. Made entirely with hardwood cross-laminated timber, The Smile will invite visitors to enter a ‘weightless funnel of space’ with two ramps leading up to open apertures that frame views of the sky and college. Perforations in the wood walls will bring in dappled sunlight. At night, when the interior is lit up, the pavilion ‘turns into a giant lantern,’ says architect Brooks.

16- 25 September for the London Design Festival. If you’d like to find out about all of the other exciting events taking place across the city as part of the London Design Festival, please visit their website:  

It will then be closed and inaccessible from 26-29 Sept to accommodate the UAL Fresher’s Fair, and will reopen for public access on Friday 30 September until Wed 12 October.

Supported by the American Hardwood Export Council, Arup, Züblin Timber, Seam, Atrium