5/10 - The fifth folly revealed has been designed by InsideOut, who has interpreted Consuelo Vanderbilt Balsan's identity

Interpreted Identity: Consuelo Vanderbilt Balsan
Architects: InsideOut
Showcased at: The Marlborough Sports Garden, Union Street, SE1
Exhibited: 01 - 30 June

We are pleased to reveal the fifth folly of our month-long campaign, Interpreted Identities, in conjunction with the London Festival of Architecture. For this folly, InsideOut has interpreted the identity of Consuelo Vanderbilt Balsan.

Consuelo came from a life of absolute privilege but chose to use that privilege for the betterment of those most in need, stepping outside her prescribed circle and selflessly working to improve the wider community. One of her legacy projects is the Marlborough Sports Garden, the very site for this folly project. 
With the beginning of the suffragette movement and the stark realities of life that WW1 imposed, Consuelo had her ‘aha moment’ in 1906, leaving the loveless marriage with the 9th Duke of Marlborough and beginning a life dedicated to service and philanthropy. Consuelo made a conscious choice to move from a life of submission to self-assertion. She threw herself fully into philanthropic work, donating both her time, money and home to those in need.
"Our approach to the folly is focussed on the shift that occurred in Consuelo’s life," said InsideOut. "As she moved into a life focussed on philanthropy and service, she chose to use the ordered wealth and privilege from her previous life to reach out into the community to make a difference. To mirror this, coloured ribbon-like elements will represent Consuelo’s multiple talents and gifts. Weaved orderly and tightly to one side of the folly, the individual ribbons will start to unravel and stretch in different directions to loosely create shelter and a sense of space and playfulness. The termination of these ribbons is not yet known, but can only be decided by the community as they adapt the folly and make it their own."

“It’s fantastic to see the new Marlborough Sports Garden being used for this design challenge,” said Tim Wood, Chair of BOST. “It's also been wonderful working alongside the LFA to celebrate these unsung local heroes whose stories we are proud to tell.”

To find out more about the Interpreted Identities design challenge, click here.

For more information on the designers or follies please contact: Concrete Communications olivia@concretecomms.com

Formed in 2002, InsideOut are an established and growing RIBA chartered practice based in London. Specialising in luxury residential, hospitality and multi-unit residential, InsideOut are involved from concept to delivery, offering a tailored approach to each project. InsideOut's close relationship with clients and delivery teams on site allows them to lead and navigate the process, ensuring the level of quality and craftsmanship the practice has become known for. As a practice, they strive to integrate sustainable design and materials into all projects, but more recently InsideOut have been working on Passivhaus schemes that emphasise their commitment to both the environment and timeless design.  

Olivia Mudie