Every year the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion draws so many visitors that it is among the "top 10 most visited" architecture exhibitions in the world. Today in London, the Danish firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) unveiled this summer's pavilion and it's just as exciting as we imagined. The pavilion, which will open later this week to the public and comprises a series of stacked fiberglass boxes, will be on display through October 9, 2016.
Located in front of the Serpentine Galleries in Kensington Gardens, BIG’s “unzipped wall” pavilion is made of fiberglass boxes piled on top on one another. The fiberglass boxes are translucent, allowing light to permeate the inventive space. According to a statement from the Serpentine Galleries, BIG’s pavilion “is a soaring and curvaceous structure that returns to one of architecture’s most basic elements: the brick wall, resulting in a dramatic shift between a straight line and a three-dimensional space.”
Ingels’ dreamlike pavilion looks different depending on a viewer’s angle. From one side, it appears to be simply a rectangle, and from another, it appears as an “undulating” structure. Visitors will be allowed to climb the fiberglass blocks up to a metal wire in place.
Ingels said, “I think we tried to make a structure, that in an effortless way, combines a lot of differences. So it’s a wall that becomes a hall inside, it’s a gate to the Serpentine Gallery, but it also creates a space for events.” During the day, a cafe will provide refreshments to visitors in the pavilion. During the evening, it will serve as a performance space for musicians, writers, and artists.
Ingels also cited Sydney Opera House architect Jørn Utzon as inspiration. He said, “Utzon had this idea that you could create any imaginable form with carefully designed, mass-produced elements, almost like creating difference out of repetition, and it’s essentially the spirit we’ve tried to bring here.”
According to Dezeen, this is the 16th structure that the gallery has commissioned. Each architect they have selected has not yet finished a “significant building” in the UK. The first structure was designed by Zaha Hadid back in 2000.
Images courtesy of Serpentine Galleries, © Iwan Baan