Pea Soup House
In 1820, the artist John Sartain coined the term Pea Soup to describe the thick yellow fog drowning London during the industrial revolution. Londoners became known as Pea Soupers, and today, pollution levels remain extremely high in London; toxic to the communities living in the city.
In response to an open call by the London Festival of Architecture 2016, a team of architects, designers and researchers initiated Pea Soup House through a mutual interest in community well-being, and to raise awareness of the largely invisible problem
of air pollution in London.
Playing on the origins of the ‘Pea Soupers’, the installation serves specific soups reflecting the daily air quality index (DAQI) issued by the London Air Quality Network. Inside the servery an exhibition space displays pollution monitoring data, mental and physical health risks and the measures which look to reduce air pollutants in the city. By engaging the local community through food, Pea Soup House raises public awareness of London’s air quality through architecture, education and event.
Pea Soup House was self- built by the design team using low cost, carbon neutral materials to create a high impact, transportable installation. The design team collaborated with the RIBA Young People’s Forum in creating and assembling the servery at the RIBA’s London headquarters for the ‘Constructing Communities’ exhibition in July 2016.