The Serpentine Gallery in London likes to switch things up, and they do so by having a new temporary structure put in each year on their lawn. Past commissioned artists have included Frank Gehry, Herzog & de Meuron, and Zaha Hadid. This year, the chosen artist was actually a team by the name of Selgascano. The team is made up of a husband and wife from Spain.
Getting the job to create the structure for the museum was a big change for the duo, who generally create pieces for offices and other private buildings. They did however create a skatepark at a community center in Spain.
The structure at the Serpentine Gallery is a large, tube like designed structure that forms hallways and open air rooms where people can enter. Inside the roof is crossed with what looks like strategically placed colorful ribbons.
According to the galleries website, the Pavilion “…is 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 brilliant, stained glass-effect interior.”
The artists drew inspiration from the location that they would be building in, and also the ways that people move around London. London has a popularly used underground system that is made up of connecting tunnels, which clearly was an inspiration for the piece.
The artists describe their design as follows:
“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.”
Visitors at the pavilion can expect to find a cafe inside, that will serving sandwiches, salads, pastries, cakes, and “park snacks”. The cafe will be open from 10AM to 6PM daily, and as always the museum itself has a free entry. The Serpentine Pavilion will be open until October 18 of this year.
The museum is also currently running a “build your own pavilion” program to challenge the youth interested in architecture to create their own masterpieces. The competition is open fro children ages 8 to 14 and offers prizes to the winning designs. They are also offering pavilion workshops across the country for those who might be further away from the museum.
There are actually two galleries that make up the Serpentine Galleries, and they are both nestled into Kensington Gardens. They are about a five minute walk from each other, and got their name for the Serpentine lake between them.