porto-based studio fala atelier has expressed its love for color and precision through a tiny pavilion with characteristic elegant stone details at the 32nd são paulo biennial. the temporary art gallery has been installed in a slopped garden at the serralves’ foundation in portugal, joining structures by diogo aguiar and depA on the same site.

all images © ricardo loureiro



‘the brief was vague and open to speculation’, says fala atelier. ‘a folly, as the word itself suggests, is an extravagant, frivolous or unreal building, thought more for an artistic expression than for functional reasons. the pavilion is, indeed, all of that’.

view from the other side



through a polyphonic repertoire, the work aims at being both a temple, a temporary construction and a toy, neo-classical and post-modern. a rational structure encloses a cubic volume. the understandable metric of the wooden elements finds a mismatch in the proportions of the openings and in the apparently arbitrary colors. the plinth erases the relationship with the sloping terrain, while two round black marble elements mark the entrances while a red beam crosses the inner space.

view from the garden



inside, five lounge chairs provide an uncertain sense of domesticity to the otherwise monumental construction. the so-called folly is a playful combination of pragmatic seriousness and frivolous irony. a composition where each element has its own value, complementing and contradicting each other.

corner detail



priscila fernandes’ ‘gozolândia’ — a film about contemplation and leisure — is shown inside the pavilion and exists in dialogue with both the park and the light-heartedness of the architecture. perhaps, the folly in architectural languages is what priscila’s film is to leisure: a joyful and reflective pastiche.

interior space





project info:


project team: fala atelier
dates: design: january – june 2017; construction: june 2017
location: serralves foundation; porto, portugal
client: serralves foundation / são paulo biennial
art piece: ‘gozolândia’ (shortfilm), by priscila fernandes
contractor: j sousa teixeira, e&c
photography: ricardo loureiro


designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: maria erman | designboom

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