For the twelfth year of its annual Pavilion commission, the Serpentine has handed over the Gallery’s lawn to acclaimed architects Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei to build their first collaborative structure in the UK
Taking an archaeological approach, the architects have created a semi-submerged design, drawing on the eleven previous Pavilions as their starting point. Twelve differently-shaped columns, eleven signifying the previous Pavilion designs and one unique to the current Pavilion, support a floating platform roof that collects rainwater and reflects the ever-changing sky. Going beneath the surface reveals an interior clad in cork, chosen for its sensory qualities that echo the excavated earth.
Creating a public space that is not quite above or below, earth or sky, this year’s Pavilion will inspire visitors to look beneath the surface and back in time across the ghosts of the earlier Pavilions.
The Pavilion is presented as part of the London 2012 Festival and is open until 14 October 2012.
About the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion commission
The Serpentine Gallery Pavilion commission is a unique programme of temporary structures by acclaimed architects and designers. The series, which began in 2000, presents the work of architects or design teams that have not previously completed a building in England. The immediacy of the commission – six months from invitation to completion – provides an unparalleled site for architectural experimentation.