‘I fell asleep on a soundsystem!’ – the pyramid-building artists invading Notting Hill carnival

At this year’s city-shaking, weekend-long bash, a triangular pavilion will be appearing amid the floats and dancers. Revellers can sneak inside for a rest – or climb on top and party Alvaro Barrington is recalling his first ever festival experience in Grenada: “I was maybe five years old and my cousins took me to J’ouvert,” he says, referring to the day that acts as a precursor to the main party in Caribbean culture. “I have a memory of one of my older cousins holding my hand as we walked through the streets. We found a sound system and I climbed up on it and immediately fell asleep with the music blasting. A few hours later, I woke up to my cousin carrying me home while I laid on his shoulder.” He may have missed out on the good stuff, but the sleepy experience has inspired his latest project. Because amid the floats, sound systems and food trucks at this year’s Notting Hill carnival there will also be a pavilion designed specifically for people who need to take a bit of time out from the action. Located next to where the carnival’s judges are based on the Great Western Road, the approximately three-metre high structure is made from a series of interlocking plywood components. The pavilion will be completed during the carnival’s opening parade by members of the community who will carry elements of the building, slotting them into the roughly pyramid-shaped construction themselves at the end of the procession. Once finished, party-goers will be able to rest inside Barrington’s pavilion, or clamber up the outside in order to better see the procession. “Carnival can be a place for many different types of culture,” he says. “For the Caribbean community, it has a long history of being a space in which art gets produced. I thought maybe we can bring architecture into that too.” Continue reading...

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