Serpentine Pavilion 2015

John Hill
22. June 2015
Photo: © Iwan Baan, courtesy of Serpentine Gallery

The 15th Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, designed by Spain's SelgasCano, opens to the public on Thursday in London's Kensington Gardens.

The Serpentine Galleries selected SelgasCano for the 15th annual pavilion in December last year, and the duo of José Selgas and Lucía Cano responded with a colorful chrysalis "consisting of panels of a translucent, multi-colored fabric membrane (ETFE) woven through and wrapped in webbing." The realized design, as seen in photographs taken by Iwan Baan, stays true to the renderings, glowing colorfully in the evening and immersing visitors in an alien realm accessed by a "secret corridor."

Photo: © Iwan Baan, courtesy of Serpentine Gallery

The architects describes the pavilion in a statement: "We sought a way to allow the public to experience architecture through simple elements: structure, light, transparency, shadows, lightness, form, sensitivity, change, surprise, color and materials. ... 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, characterized by color, light and irregular shapes with surprising volumes."

Further, the duo aligns their design with previous commissions, designed by a who's-who of notable architects (Sou Fujimoto, Herzog & de Meuron with Ai Weiwei, Peter Zumthor, Jean Nouvel, Frank Gehry, Rem Koolhaas, to name just a few): "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."

Photo: © Iwan Baan, courtesy of Serpentine Gallery

The Serpentine Pavilion is curated by Serpentine Galleries' Director Julia Peyton-Jones and Co-Director Hans Ulrich Obrist, who said in the statement: "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."

Serpentine Pavilion 2015 is on display until 18 October 2015.

Photo: © Iwan Baan, courtesy of Serpentine Gallery

The Serpentine Gallery acknowledges the following individuals, companies, and foundations in making the Serpentine Pavilion 2015:

Serpentine Galleries Summer Season supported by The Lars Windhorst Foundation
Serpentine Pavilion sponsored by Goldman Sachs
Advisors: AECOM with David Glover
Supported by Stage One
Gold Sponsor: Weil

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