ARCHITECTURE _ Yesterday, the new Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2014 was unveiled. After Sou Fujimoto, this year the assignment has been passed onto the less well-known Chilean architect Smiljian Radic.
The pavilion takes the shape of a floating torus made with crude fiberglass, supported by large boulders, that seem accidentally placed on the grass in front of the gallery. The geometric form creates an internal patio, which becomes the imaginary core of the structure.
credit Archilovers; cover credit Iwan Baan
“Looking at the volume from outside it looks like a refuge. When you are inside you feel really in connection with the landscape through the different views through the different spots, the patio and the canopy” commented the architect yesterday during the press view “You have relations [at the same time] with the sky and the grass when you are in the patio”
The Selfish Giant’s Castle Santiago, Chile 2010 Image © Smiljan Radić
According to Radic the pavilion takes inspiration from his earlier works, particularly the studio model for the Castle of the Selfish Giant, inspired by the Oscar Wilde story.
In the pavilion we can find the use of elements, like stones, already used in the poetic design of Radic's Restaurant Mestizo project
Mestizo Restaurant Santiago Chile, 2005-2007, © Smiljan Radić Photograph by Gonzalo Puga
The pavilion has the ambition of being a contemporary “follie” the typical construction located in the romantic English garden in the 18th century.
Radjc highlights the importance of the texture as an expression of handmade work, like a giant who has build this small object in the middle of the park.
“The torus space gives you that kind of possibility to have complexity in a small space” said Radic “I made many models with masking tape in my studio to experiment shapes and form because it is easy to manipulate, but then the problem was changing the scale, that was the real challenge”
"Radic's designs for the Pavilion also look excitingly futuristic, appearing like an alien space pod that has come to rest on a Neolitic site” Julia Peyton-Jones and Hans Ulrich Obrist director and co-director of the Serpentine.
26 June – 19 October 2014
credit Iwan Baan