In my last travel to London I visited the Kensington Gardens and took advantage of visit the Serpentine gallery pavilion.
We have wrote about preceding designs in this blog, and this was the first time that we have visited it.
Every year since 2000, the Serpentine Gallery, located in London’s Kensington Gardens, selects an artist, architect or designer for the Serpentine Pavilion as a small sample of contemporary architectural practice.
The previous designs of pavilion were done by architechts like Peter Zumthor(2011) , Ai Weiwei and Herzog & de Meuron (2012) or, the last year, Sou Fujimoto (picture below).
This year, this pavilion was designed by the Chilean architect Smiljan Radić and could be visited since july to the last 19th of October.
As you can see in the pictures, is a cylindrical structure and semi-translucent, similar to a shell and rested on large quarry stones. An ethereal mass of carefully moulded fiberglass punctuated by precisely cut openings.
Designed as a flexible and multi-purpose social space, the Pavilion had a café sited inside. Visitors were encouraged to enter and interact with the structure.
Smiljan Radić had this to say about his design: » The unusual shape and sensual qualities of the Pavilion have a strong physical impact on the visitor, especially juxtaposed with the classical architecture of the Serpentine Gallery. From the outside, visitors see a fragile shell in the shape of a hoop suspended on large quarry stones. Appearing as if they had always been part of the landscape, these stones are used as supports, giving the pavilion both a physical weight and an outer structure characterised by lightness and fragility. The shell, which is white, translucent and made of fibreglass, contains an interior that is organised around an empty patio at ground level, creating the sensation that the entire volume is floating. The simultaneously enclosed and open volumes of the structure explore the relationship between the surrounding Kensington Gardens and the interior of the Pavilion. The floor is grey wooden decking, as if the interior were a terrace rather than a protected interior space.
At night, thanks to the semi-transparency of the shell, the amber tinted light will attract the attention of passers-by, like lamps attracting moths.»
– Serpentine Gallery´s web site