The 2010 London Festival of Architecture is starting to get into gear, ahead of the big opening in June. The first render out of the gates is PUSHAK's take on guerrilla gardening, a temporary structure that will inhabit the Architecture Foundation's gallery on Tooley Street in South London, and hopefully sow the seed of inspiration far and wide. By proposing a cave-like installation that transforms the ground floor gallery into a verdant fantasy-land akin to a lavish West End stage set, the architects hope to encourage visitors to go away and green a little bit of their own environment.
PUSHAK was founded in 2006 by Sissil Morseth Gromholt, Camilla Langeland, Marthe Melbye and Gyda Drage Kleiva. The Oslo-based studio has had a run of high profile projects, including an installation for the acclaimed Norwegian National Tourist Routes and a new crematorium in Vestfold, currently under construction. One of three Norwegian firms shortlisted for the pavilion project, their involvement has been made possible by the Architecture Foundation's international exchange programme for emerging architects in Norway and the UK.
The 'guerrilla' theme is especially apt, for it was in the neglected roundabouts and muddy triangle of South London that the original guerrilla gardening movement first took root, stealthily creeping in to sow interesting plants when the authorities weren't looking. The PUSHAK installation also taps into another ongoing initiative, the Bankside Urban Forest, part of an ambitious programme to re-green this stretch of the South Bank.