LUXURYCULTURE.COM - Architecture in the Park


The ninth Serpentine Pavilion designed by architects of the moment, SANAA, has been unveiled in London’s Hyde Park. We showcase this and the eight other remarkable temporary structures commissioned by the Serpentine Gallery.

As a venue for London’s most glamorous summer party, few locations can beat that of the Serpentine Pavilion designed by Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa of leading Japanese architecture practice SANAA. Wrapping itself around the trees of London’s Hyde Park, the striking structure comprises a reflective metal roof that varies in height, supported by delicate columns. Guests at the Serpentine Gallery’s party to celebrate the pavilion’s opening on July 12 likened it to a floating pool of water.

But SANAA’s Serpentine Pavilion is more than a glorified marquee. It is the ninth in a series of pavilions commissioned as part of an ambitious architectural program of the Serpentine Gallery, a contemporary art gallery that is also sited in Hyde Park. Each year the project, which was conceived by the Serpentine Gallery’s Director, Julia Peyton-Jones, gives a preeminent architect their debut in the UK.

The first pavilion was designed by Zaha Hadid in 2000 while architects called upon since then include Rem Koolhaas, Oscar Niemeyer and Frank Gehry. Financed by sponsorship, the pavilions are exhibited for three months each summer on the lawn of the Serpentine Gallery before being sold by real estate agent Knight Frank.

“Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa’s design embraces the parkland around the Serpentine Gallery as never before with an extraordinarily innovative design, which reveals the subtle play on light and perception so characteristic of their work,” says Peyton-Jones of the temporary structure designed by the architects responsible for the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York. “This Pavilion will be a wonderful addition to London’s landscape this summer. It is our dream come true.”

On display until October 18, 2009 the Serpentine Pavilion contains a café and an auditorium where a roster of events include poetry readings, a talk by the architects and, of course, some fabulous summer parties.

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