Artlyst Photo Special: Serpentine Galleries Pavilion By Selgascano




Serpentine Galleries is celebrating the 15th anniversary of its world-renowned Pavilion commission, designed by Spanish architects selgascano – and has become an international site for architectural experimentation since it was launched in 2000 by Gallery Director Julia Peyton-Jones. The commission presents 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. The pavilion is a much-anticipated landmark in London each summer, and is one of the top-ten most visited architectural and design exhibitions in the world.

Serpentine Pavilion 2015 designed by selgascano © Iwan Baan

The 15th Pavilion design 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.

Serpentine Pavilion 2015 designed by selgascano © NAARO

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.

Serpentine Pavilion 2015 designed by selgascano © Iwan Baan

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 Pavilion 2015 designed by selgascano © NAARO

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.

Serpentine Pavilion 2015 designed by selgascano © Iwan Baan

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 fluorinebased 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.”

Serpentine Pavilion 2015 designed by selgascano © Iwan Baan

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.

Serpentine Galleries Pavilion 2015 designed by selgascano – until 18 October 2015 Lead Photo © John Ofenbach


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