Frida Escobedo’s Serpentine Pavilion in London Is Site-Specific to Nature
“Even though I’m the youngest architect to design the pavilion, I am old-school. I work with a pencil and paper. I use my hands; nothing is digital. For the pavilion, initial drawings were made in the Mexico City office of my firm Frida Escobedo, Taller de Arquitectura. I worked with pencil or pen, photographed them, and then sent them to Serpentine Galleries. This pencil drawing shows how the pavilion is made up of fragments and moments. It’s a collection of images that overlap, like a montage.
We create projects with simple materials, working with shapes that have a multiplicity of uses. Usually architecture is site-specific and permanent, but the Serpentine Pavilion breaks with that notion: It’s site-specific to Kensington Garden but only temporarily. Private collectors bring the pavilions to different places once the public exhibition ends, which, for mine, was October 7. It’s a contradiction I find interesting.
We used concrete tile, which is not specific to a place of production. We wove the tile to create an open pattern that lets in the landscape, the sun, and the wind. It looks plain and sober outside, but when you walk in, there’s a lot of play with reflection and angles. No matter where the pavilion goes, it will not lose the spirit of its geometry or echo of place.” — Frida Escobedo