A lunch break expedition to Villa Walala

A fun palace made out of giant inflatable Liquorice Allsorts is the first thing that springs to mind when I stumble across Villa Walala during my lunch break this week.  A bold mirage in a sea of corporate glass and chrome, the villa invites you to fling off your work shoes and jump head first into this bouncy castle on steroids.

Close up of sign for Villa Walala in Broadgate, City of London

Sign post for Villa Walala, Exchequer Square, Broadgate

What is Villa Walala?

Created by the textile designer, Camille Walala, the eponymous Villa Walala is a flagship artwork specially created for the London Design Festival 2017.  Since graduating from Brighton University, Walala has evolved from textile-based art work to interior design to large-scale civic art and installation projects.

Villa Walala in Exchequer Square, Broadgate

Villa Walala, Exchequer Square, Broadgate



Influenced by the Memphis Movement, the Ndebele Tribe and Victor Vasarely, the installation radiates positive vibes with its sherbet lemon facade, bold stripes and electric blue pillars. Jaunty, patterned deck chairs playfully beckon to the sea of suits flooding out of the nearby offices – workers are cordially invited to come in and play.

Inspiration for Villa Walala

Camille Walala is quoted as saying “I wanted to create something that played to this idea of escaping the office and letting off steam but which was also a surprising contrast to the architectural context – something colourful and playful that would make the people of Broadgate stop and smile.”

Caught under the scornful gaze of Bertie Bassett, I resist the temptation to leap head first on to the soft vinyl forms.  Somehow it feels a tad odd when trussed up in work attire and I scurry back to the respectable cover of the tube.  Perhaps I’ll pop back when I’m in weekend mode and surprise Bertie yet, I muse as I make my way back to work.

Villa Walala art installation in Exchequer Square Broadgate

Villa Walala, colourful inflatable art installation in Broadgate

Villa Walala is part of the London Design Festival and runs from the 16-24 September at Exchange Square, Broadgate.

This installation is just one of a range of pop-up art installations at Broadgate, for more information, visit: http://www.broadgate.co.uk/Event

Have you visited Villa Walala yet?  What did you think?

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