Pavilion presents a colourful semi-abstract view of the striking internal circular staircase in the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill-on-Sea. This art gallery on the English south coast was designed by German-born architect Eric Mendelsohn in 1935. Its distinctive architectural style earned the De La Warr’s reputation as the first truly Modernist building in Britain, and it reflected the international influence of the Bauhaus. Mendelsohn settled in England in 1933 to escape Nazi persecution in 1919–1920 and 1935 respectively.
Pavillion is one of two photographic light-boxes by Catherine Yass commissioned in 2000 by the Collection on behalf of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, for the British Embassy in Berlin. The commission coincided with the construction of a new British Embassy following the reunification of Germany in 1990, to replace the historical site that had been destroyed during the Second World War. The submission to the architectural competition won by Michael Wilford and Partners proposed ‘to symbolise not only cooperation between Germany and the United Kingdom, but also ‘openness’, with a striking and innovative façade made of the same local Berlin sandstone with which the Brandenburg Gate was constructed’.
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