AY Architects: House of Flags

Conceived as a gigantic "house of cards" in the Eames spirit, this flexible and reconfigurable installation gathers 206 flags of the world in Parliament Square.

The London-based studio AY Architects has conceived as a gigantic "house of cards" in the Eames' spirit. House of Flags is a flexible, demountable and totally reconfigurable istallation in Parliament Square, London.

206 panels depict the flag icons of the nations and combined create a collaged image of the world. All together they make up a large building jigsaw, a united "house" of symbols, shimmering colours and perforations.

The installation seeks to collate politics, graphics and architecture into one gesture. The exterior is features the layering of colour graphics made up of the unique iconography of each flag, while the interior space has a unified monochrome presence created by the natural finish of the plywood panels.

During the day the structure works as a shadow modulator with the shadows of its perforations shifting from east to west. When the sunlight is sharp soft layers of colour light, produced by the vibrancy of the colour-printed panels, are reflected on the natural plywood panels next to them. At night the structure is lit from within, glowing as an inhabited "house" and showing the emblem cut-outs appearing as silhouetted figures.
AY Architects, <em>House of Flags</em>, Parliament Square, London
AY Architects, House of Flags , Parliament Square, London
The assemblage on Parliament Square presents the flags in alphabetical order, never touching or intersecting, and carefully considered so that certain cut-outs are not offensive or seen from the back. AY Architects worked with the Flag Institute, the world's leading research and documentation centre for flag information, to determine how the design of the panels and their connections could respect these protocols.
AY Architects, <em>House of Flags</em>, Parliament Square, London
AY Architects, House of Flags , Parliament Square, London
AY Architects, <em>House of Flags</em>, Parliament Square, London
AY Architects, House of Flags , Parliament Square, London
AY Architects, <em>House of Flags</em>, Parliament Square, London
AY Architects, House of Flags , Parliament Square, London
AY Architects, <em>House of Flags</em>, Parliament Square, London
AY Architects, House of Flags , Parliament Square, London
AY Architects, <em>House of Flags</em>, Parliament Square, London
AY Architects, House of Flags , Parliament Square, London

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