Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2014 - London

Serpentine Gallery Pavilion by Smiljan Radić

I have been visiting the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion every summer since 2007. This year is the 14th year that a renown architect that hasn't built yet a building in the UK is commissioned to design a temporary pavilion in Hyde Park, next to the Serpentine Gallery. 

This year's pavilion will be open until the 19th October. If you haven't visited it yet and would like to see it, I would recommend you to go before the 25th August so you can enjoy the Marina Abramovic performance for the same price. 

Picture by @alambiLAB

The Chilean architect Smiljan Radic has designed a semi-translucent torus shape that resembles a shell seating on large quarry stones.

The envelope of the building is made of 10mm fibreglass which, to me, recalls translucent onyx. 

Pictura by @alambiLAB

Architect's statement:

"The Serpentine Pavilion 2014 continues a history of small romantic constructions seen in parks or large gardens, the so-called follies that were popular from the late sixteenth century to the beginning of the nineteenth century. 

In general, follies appear as ruins or have been worn away by time, displaying an extravagant, surprising and often archaic form. These characteristics artificially dissolve the temporal and physical limits of the constructions into their natural surroundings. The 2014 Pavilion takes these principles and applies them using a contemporary architectural language.
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, the semi-transparency of the shell, together with a soft amber-tinted light, draws the attention of passers-by like lamps attracting moths."
- Smiljan Radić

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