Video: The Pavilion by Sanaa, Serpentine, London
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Kicking off back in 2000 with Zaha Hadid’s suitably swooping offering, the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion project (sponsored by NetJets Europe) has, each year since, introduced a specially commissioned pavilion to London’s Hyde Park. With Alumnus including Rem Koolhaas and Olafur Eliasson, this year sees the turn of Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa of Japanese firm,Sanaa.
Best known for their toppled, cubic addition to the New York skyline - in the shape of the New museum of Contemporary Art - the pair have been practicing under the collaborative title for over a decade, and their paired down architectural approach can be witnessed in cities across the globe with the Prada Beauty building in Hong Kong and the Christian Dior building in Tokyo.
Set to sit upon the gallery’s lawn for the duration of the summer, the Pavilion itself, in the words of the architects, is like ’floating aluminum, drifting freely between the trees like smoke.’ With no walls and no sense of physical restriction, SANAA’s Pavilion is fixed, like a floating oil slick, upon a sparse collection of wispy columns.
Taking a birds-eye view, the giant, looping aluminum roof that comprises the pavilion sits like a giant silver paint splodge, next to the rather more traditional architecture of the Serpentine itself. Designed to act as an extension of the park, SANAA hope their addition will protect summer revelers from the highly variable elements.
SANAA’s first built structure in the UK, the pavilion contains space for a cafe and a theatre - within which performances, talks and film screenings will take place throughout the Pavilion’s four months in residence.