Bjarke Ingels Reveals Design for 2016 Serpentine Pavilion
Serpentine Galleries in London’s Kensington Gardens has unveiled this year’s summer pavilion, a versatile structure by the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), sponsored by Goldman Sachs. As the 16th edition of its Architecture Programme’s annual commission, the BIG design will be a part of the gallery’s mission to introduce contemporary architecture to a wider audience. To further this goal, the project has been expanded to include four additional structures, for a total of five designs by architects between the ages of 36 and 93, who had not previously completed a permanent structure in the United Kingdom.
For his 3,200-square-foot pavilion, Ingels decided to combine aspects often viewed as “opposites”, a modular yet sculptural, transparent yet opaque, free-form yet ridged, spin on the basic brick wall. Says the designer, “This simple manipulation of the archetypical space-defining garden wall creates a presence in the Park that changes as you move around it and through it. Presence becomes absence, orthogonal becomes curvilinear, structure becomes gesture and box becomes blob.”
Fiberglass frames replacing bricks will be stacked then pulled apart to create an open space inside. During the day the pavilion will host family activities and a café, in partnership with the famous Harrods department store. At night, it will transform into a performance space for artists, writers and musicians.
The four additional “summer houses” are outdoor structures dotting the property, by architects Kunlé Adeyemi, Barkow Leibinger, Yona Friedman, and Asif Khan. Each design takes inspiration from Queen Caroline’s Temple, a classical style 1734 summer house at the Gardens, attributed to William Kent, and experiments with material, space, and genre.
The pavilion and additional structures will be up for four months, June 10 through October 9, free to the public for both day and night programs.