New Serpentine Pavilion a breath of fresh air

Multiple-award winning Danish architect Bjarke Ingels (pic above) has created an amazing pavilion made from fibreglass frames stacked on top of one another for the Serpentine’s summer lawn. He says the design, an unzipped wall, was inspired earlier this year when he was working with a firm who makes shelves out of fibreglass. Ingels says: “The wall is maybe the most basic element of architecture and the brick wall is made out of individual elements. When you pull the wall apart it creates this space and it becomes the perfect gateway into the Serpentine and also a space that you can linger in.”

His practice Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) really designs in a new way. One building it has proposed is a power plant in Sweden that is so clean they could grow plants on the roof and it would be built in the middle of an ancient town. “It’s not only good for the fish and the birds, but it is also good for people living in the city [who can work there],” says Ingels. More about that here …  BIG has also designed the amazing Malaysia Square within Battersea Power Station. “What’s good about Battersea is that it goes from carbon footprint to human footprint,” says Ingels. “We do like to make people aware that business as usual is not business as usual any longer. There are unusual opportunities just sitting there.  I love the quote by William Gibson, the science fiction writer, who wrote, ‘The future is here. It’s just not widely distributed yet’. The ingredients are already there, we can identiuntitled 2fy them and work with them.”

The pavilion is the main part of the Sepentine Architecture Programme, whose aim is to introduce contemporary architecture to a wider audience. The first pavilion was built 16 years ago by Zaha Hadid, who later designed the Sackler Serpentine building and who sadly died earlier this year. There will be a series of Park Nights with architecture and design talks and this Saturday, 11th June, curator Amira Gad will lead a tour of the Serpentine Pavilion at 3pm.

For the first time this year there are also four small summer houses inspired by Queen Caroline’s Temple which was built by Willam Kent 300 years ago. Kent had aligned the temple towards the rising sun on 1st March, 1683, Queen Caroline’s birthday, and the reflection would have been enhanced by the newly made Serpentine Lake. London’s Asif Khan (pic right in the summer house he designed) has created a round  summer house to mirror the shape of the original, with a metal circle in the middle to reflect the sun, and views of the park though the vertical timber posts (staves). All the summer houses are beautiful to look at, and great to sit in. Kunlé Adeyemi’s even has soft seats. Be happy dog walkers, lovers and people with small children. Opens on Friday 10th June, and you can have a Harrods coffee and pastry while you are there. serpentinegalleries


Written By
More from Mary-Lu Bakker

Buckets of flowers delivered

New weekly deliveries of bucketfuls of English-grown seasonal cut flowers fresh from...
Read More