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.”
Related: BIG selected to design the 2016 Serpentine Pavilion
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.
+ Bjarke Ingels Group
+ Serpentine Galleries
Images courtesy of Serpentine Galleries, © Iwan Baan