Serpentine Pavilion 2015

London / United Kingdom / 2015

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Serpentine Galleries celebrates the 15th anniversary of the world-renowned Pavilion commission with a design by Spanish architects selgascano.



Since it was launched in 2000 by Gallery Director Julia Peyton-Jones, the Serpentine Pavilion has become an international site for architectural experimentation, presenting inspirational temporary structures by some of the world's greatest architects, including Peter Zumthor, 2011; Frank Gehry, 2008; Rem Koolhaas and Cecil Balmond, with Arup, 2006; Oscar Niemeyer, 2003; Daniel Libeskind with Arup, 2001 and Zaha Hadid, who designed the inaugural Pavilion in 2000. A much-anticipated landmark in London each summer, the Pavilion is one of the top-ten most visited architectural and design exhibitions in the world.



selgascano’s design for the 15th Pavilion, sponsored by Goldman Sachs, reveals an amorphous, double-skinned, polygonal structure consisting of panels of a translucent, multi-coloured fluorine-based polymer (ETFE) woven through and wrapped like webbing. Visitors can enter and exit the Pavilion at a number of different points, passing through a ‘secret corridor’ between the outer and inner layer of the structure and into the Pavilion’s colourful interior. The architects’ inspiration not only came from the site itself, but from the ways in which people move through London, notably the London Underground with its many-layered, chaotic yet structured flow.



Serpentine Galleries’ Julia Peyton-Jones, Director, and Co-Director Hans Ulrich Obrist said:
“We are proud to work with selgascano in this, the 15th year of a commission unique in the western world that continues to showcase some of the boldest and innovative designs in contemporary architecture internationally. In keeping with their reputation for playful designs and bold use of colour, selgascano’s design is an extraordinary chrysalis-like structure, as organic as the surrounding gardens. It is a place for people to meet in, to have coffee and to experience the live events we put on throughout the summer.”


selgascano, architects of the 15th Serpentine Pavilion said:
“When the Serpentine invited us to design the Pavilion, we began to think about what the structure needed to provide and what materials should be used in a Royal Park in London. These questions, mixed with our own architectural interests and the knowledge that the design needs to connect with nature and feel part of the landscape, provided us with a concept based on pure visitor experience. We sought a way to allow the public to experience architecture through simple elements: structure, light, transparency, shadows, lightness, form, sensitivity, change, surprise, colour and materials. We have therefore designed a
Pavilion which incorporates all of these elements. The spatial qualities of the Pavilion only unfold when accessing the structure and being immersed within it. Each entrance allows for a specific journey through the space, characterised by colour, light and irregular shapes with surprising volumes. This is accomplished by creating a double-layered shell, made of opaque and translucent fluorine-based plastic (ETFE) in a variety of colours.
At the heart of the Pavilion is an open space for gathering as well as a café. We are also very much aware of the Pavilion’s anniversary in our design for the 15th annual commission. The structure therefore had to be – without resembling previous Pavilions – a tribute to them all and a homage to all the stories told within those designs.”
As a long-time supporter of the arts, both in terms of championing emerging talent and investing in works of art for its Piccadilly home, Fortnum & Mason is basing themselves within the Pavilion providing a fun and artisanal twist on alfresco dining. The signature Hamperling will be available – the brand’s portable answer to the classic afternoon tea. From the Fortnum’s Ice Cream Cart, visitors will enjoy scoops and the Knickerbocker Glory, the brand made so famous. Tea will be served from the Fortnum & Mason Tea Tuk, with light bites and even treats for canine guests.



On Friday evenings, between July and September, the Pavilion will once again become the stage for the Serpentine’s Park Nights series of live events, sponsored for the third year by COS. The events bring together art, poetry, music, film, literature and theory and include three new major commissions by artists Jesse Darling, Fleur Melbourn and Marianna Simnett.


The Serpentine is delighted that Goldman Sachs is the headline sponsor of this year’s Pavilion. AECOM, in collaboration with David Glover, will again provide engineering and technical design services. While this is the third Serpentine Pavilion for AECOM, David Glover has worked on the majority of Pavilion designs to date.

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    Serpentine Galleries celebrates the 15th anniversary of the world-renowned Pavilion commission with a design by Spanish architects selgascano. Since it was launched in 2000 by Gallery Director Julia Peyton-Jones, the Serpentine Pavilion has become an international site for architectural experimentation, presenting inspirational temporary structures by some of the world's greatest architects, including Peter Zumthor, 2011; Frank Gehry, 2008; Rem Koolhaas and Cecil Balmond, with Arup, 2006;...

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