Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei sought to ‘uncover’ the past Serpentine Gallery Pavilions by taking visitors underground. 13 columns, each representing a previous architectural piece (including this year’s), lift the structure just above the ground and support the water-filled roof. Right underneath the Serpentine’s lawn, visitors will discover a brown maze-like space made entirely out of renewable cork that represents the soil.
The new sparkling pavilion will be an oasis for relaxation this summer, providing an events venue and an artistic shelter from the sun. The use of cork underground also gives the space great acoustics, a rubbery tactile texture, and the distinct yet pleasant aroma of Quercus Suber (cork oak) bark.
A homage to the Serpentine’s 12-year old Pavilion program, Herzog & de Meuron and Weiwei’s inspired design is one to be discovered.
Photos © Iwan Baan