A is for Artichoke House

The original plans for the Artichoke House, a pavilion conceived by Edward James in collaboration with Salvador Dali, were drawn up to James' specifications by leading British architect and designer of the early Modern Movement in Britain, Christopher Nicholson in 1936.

Constructed to resemble a giant artichoke, it is thought that this pavilion was intended as a gallery to house some of James's art collection, with the leaves of the Artichoke House hinged to enable light to enter the building. Unfortunately, the project never reached fruition.

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In 2014 Artist-in-Residence at West Dean College, George Charman, designed his own interpretation of the artichoke pavilion based on the original drawings held in the Edward James' archives, as well as taking inspiration from the concrete forms James built at Las Pozas (Xilitla, Mexico), and erected the structure in the grounds of the College. This Artichoke House incorporates a camera obscura and is currently open to visitors to the award-winning Gardens.

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