LUXURYCULTURE.COM - Jean Nouvel: Serpentine Pavilion 2010


The tenth Serpentine Pavilion, unveiled in London’s Hyde Park this week, marks the UK debut of world-renowned French architect Jean Nouvel. We showcase the pillar-box red temporary structure.

Joining a roll call of architects that includes Zaha Hadid, Frank Gehry and, last year, SANAA, the latest to be invited by London’s Serpentine Gallery to make their UK debut is Jean Nouvel. Commissioned by the Serpentine Gallery to create the 10th Serpentine Pavilion, a temporary structure that appears annually on the contemporary art gallery’s lawn in Hyde Park each summer, Nouvel’s first completed building in the UK opens on July 10.

Conceived as a space to accommodate the gallery’s café, as well as a series of summer talks and parties, the Serpentine Pavilion has taken many forms in its first decade. Nouvel has responded to the brief with a structure rendered entirely in red (he cited the iconic British images of traditional telephone boxes, post boxes and London buses as inspiration) and which comprises of geometric forms, a series of large retractable awnings and a gravity defying freestanding wall that slopes 12m high.

The architect paid particular attention to the need for the building to provide space for enjoyment and play, installing tennis tables, draughts, chess, frisbees and kites – all in a matching shade of vibrant red. French-born Nouvel wanted to bring his country’s tradition of civic parks to London.

Another of the Serpentine Pavilion’s functions is as a venue for the gallery’s prestigious summer party, known internationally as one of the most glamorous events on the London calendar. What will the art and design set wear to the opening of Nouvel’s Serpentine Pavilion? Expect a rush on complementing Valentino evening gowns in the fashion house’s signature vivid red.

Read more about the Serpentine Pavilion project and see the nine other temporary structures in the series. [LINK TO LN ARCHITECTURE IN THE PARK]

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