There’s something wonderfully unsettling in the manicured grounds of the National Trust’s Berrington Hall this summer. The Grade I listed mansion in Hertfordshire, which was built in 1778-81 for the son of the 3rdEarl of Oxford, is one of a few surviving masterpieces by architect Henry Holland. The building’s neo-classical interiors feature intricate plasterwork in elegant, muted pastel colours and now thanks to artists Heather and Ivan Morrison of Studio Morrison, outside a rather more eye-popping pink pavilion has been constructed in the walled garden. Shaped like a pineapple, the birch ply and Douglas fir wood structure follows the Georgian culture of creating extravagant temporary pavilions for summer parties.
The grounds of Berrington were the final masterpiece of landscape designer Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown (who was Henry Holland’s partner and father-in-law) and the National Trust hopes to restore his original layout using contemporary art project LOOK! to bring more visitors and funding to the house. With the support of Trust New Art and Arts Council England,Heather and Ivan Morrison’s bright pink pineapple – LOOK! LOOK! LOOK! – begins the series and is on display until December 2019.
Taking inspiration from the decadent social lives of the Georgians, the duo was motivated by the idea that pineapples were imported and eaten during the eighteenth century as a statement of wealth. They chose the colour pink to pick up on the pastel tones used throughout the interior of the house, underlining the history of the eighteenth century when pinks and blues were used to denote wealth.
The form is based on a piece of paper folded origami-like to give structural stability and sharp edges. The artists worked with engineered ply, cut into components that could be assembled on site with fabric pulled over each piece – you can see the process in the short film below and the project is also on the Small Projects shortlist for the 2018 Wood Awards – the full list will be exhibited at the Old Truman Brewery on the 20th-23rd September as part of London Design Festival.
To see the pavilion in its full glorious form, visit Berrington Hall.