Daylight and fresh air: though we know them to be essential to the quality of our lives, many of us don’t fully grasp how or why. The Cube, our project for Velux premiering at the 2021 London Design Festival, aims to put a spotlight on these elements.
Situated at the famed Observation Point on London’s South Bank, the timber-clad installation is a kind of kaleidoscope for both, its mirrored interior reflecting the mosaic of skylights that make up the roof. Light and air pour in, and in the quiet interior (softly scored by Danish musician Kasper Bjørke) visitors get a chance to rest, recuperate, and reflect.
“When approaching from a certain aspect, you don’t see all of the windows,” says Henning Larsen Design Director Eva Ravnborg. “… - this was the goal. So when you enter and experience the way the skylights magnify the daylight, it comes as a surprise.”
The project, which will be open to visitors throughout the course of the London Design Festival, was also designed to go on the move: once the event is over, the pavilion will be disassembled and packed up to move to its next home.
“Light in particular is something that changes everywhere you are in the world, and as Scandinavian designers this transitory quality is something we’re very aware of,” says Ravnborg. “Each place that houses the Cube will offer a completely different experience of the space and allow a different interpretation of its meaning.”
Light has long been a focus for Henning Larsen, not least to the studio’s eponymous founder who was widely known as the “Master of Light.” In Scandinavia’s northerly climes, light is an essential ingredient of life; the region experiences nearly 24-hour days in the summer and is plunged into lengthy darkness during the winter.
The Cube will be open to visitors throughout the London Design Festival, which runs from 18-26 September 2021. It is located at Observation Point on London’s South Bank (between the National Theatre and the Tate Modern) and is open from 11AM – 7PM during the week and 10AM-7PM on weekends.
For those who can’t make it to the festival, check out the Pavilion in an immersive digital experience.