Serpentine Pavilion 2016 designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG); Design render © Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG)
The Serpentine has revealed the designs for its expanded Architecture Programme for 2016: the 16th annual Pavilion designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) (Copenhagen/New York) and four newly commissioned Summer Houses by Kunlé Adeyemi – NLÉ (Amsterdam/Lagos), Barkow Leibinger (Berlin/New York), Yona Friedman (Paris) and Asif Khan (London). The Summer Houses are inspired by Queen Caroline’s Temple, a classical style summer house built in 1734 and a stone’s throw from the Serpentine Gallery.
Introducing contemporary architecture to a wider audience , the Serpentine Architecture Programme presents a unique exhibition of contemporary international architecture in the built form, rather than through an exhibition of models, drawings and plans.
Each of the five architects, aged between 36 and 93, have not completed a permanent structure in the UK.
The Serpentine Pavilion, designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) , is an ‘unzipped wall’ that is transformed from straight line to three – dimensional space, creating a dramatic structure that by day houses a café and free family activities and by night becomes a space for the Serpentine’s acclaimed Park Nights programme of performative works by artists, writers and musicians. Kunlé Adeyemi’s Summer House is an inverse replica of Queen Caroline’s Temple – a tribute to its robust form, space and material, recomposed into a new sculptural object. Barkow Leibinger were inspired by another, now extinct, 18th Century pavilion also designed by William Kent, which rotated and offered 360 degree views of the Park. Yona Friedman’s Summer House takes the form of a modular structure that can be assembled and disassembled in different formations and builds upon the architect’s pioneering project La Ville Spatiale (Spatial City ) begun in the late 1950s. Asif Khan’s design is inspired by the fact that Queen
Caroline’s Temple was positioned in a way that it would allow it to catch the sunlight from The Serpentine lake.
Serpentine Galleries Director, Julia Peyton – Jones , and Co – Director , Hans Ulrich Obrist , said: “We are delighted to reveal the designs for our expanded Architecture Programme . As you can see from the architect’s renders, Bjarke Ingels has responded to the brief for a multi – purpose Pavilion with a supremely elegant structure that is both curvaceous wall and soaring spire, that will surely serve as a beacon – drawing visitors across Hyde Park and Kensington Garden s to visit the Pavilion, the Summer Houses and our major exhibitions by Alex Katz and Etel Adnan. The response to design a Summer House inspired by the 18th Century Queen Caroline’s Temple by our four international architects has been equally inspired and has produced four unique spaces for visitors to explore this summer. “
The Serpentine’s Pavilion commission, conceived in 2000 by Director Julia Peyton – Jones, has become an international site for architectural experimentation and has presented projects by some of the world’s greatest architects. Each Pavilion is sited on the Serpentine Gallery’s lawn for four months and the immediacy of the commission – taking a maximum of six months from invitation to completion – provides a unique model worldwide.
The selection of the architects, chosen for consistently extending the boundaries of architecture practice, is led by the Serpentine’s core curatorial thinking, introducing contemporary artists and architects to a wider audience. The brief is to design a 300 – square – metre Pavilion that is used as a café by day and a forum for learning, debate and entertainment at night.
Serpentine Pavilion architects to date are: selgascano, 2015; Smiljan Radic , 2014; Sou Fujimoto, 2013; Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei, 2012; Peter Zumthor, 2011; Jean Nouvel, 2010; Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, SANAA, 2009; Frank Gehry, 2008; Olafur Eliasson and Kjetil Thorsen, 2007; Rem Koolhaas and Cecil Balmond, with Arup, 2006; Álvaro Siza and Eduardo Souto de Moura with Cecil Balmond, Arup, 2005; MVRDV with Arup,2004 (un – realised); Oscar Niemeyer, 2003; Toyo Ito and Cecil Balmond – with Arup, 2002; Daniel Libeskind with Arup, 2001; and Zaha Hadid, 2000.
The Serpentine Pavilion is one of the top – ten most visited architectural and design exhibitions in the world.
The Summer Houses are a significant addition to the Serpentine’s programme of commissioning international architects to design a structure for the Gallery’s lawn as an exhibition of architecture in a built – form. The design s for the Pavilion and Summer Hous es consider the relationship s between each of the five structures, the Serpentine Gallery building and the landscape of Kensington Gardens.