On June 1, the annual summer pavilion at the Serpentine Gallery in Kensington Gardens opens its doors until October 14. This year's pavilion has been jointly designed by the Swiss architects' bureau Herzog & de Meuron and the Chinese artist and dissident Ai Weiwei. Both parties had previously collaborated in the design of the Beijing National Stadium, which was built to host the previous Olympic Games in 2008.
As the twelfth summer pavilion to be erected at the Serpentine Gallery, the new construction is highly ambitious and unusual. For one, it has an archaeological aspect to it, taking visitors beneath the Serpentine's lawn to explore the hidden history of its previous pavilions. Eleven columns characterising each past pavilion and a twelfth column representing the current structure will support a floating platform roof 1.4 metres above the ground. The multifunctional platform will be covered with a thin layer of water, reflecting the sky above and serving as a venue for various performances.
- Jacques Herzog (left) and Pierre de Meuron
Herzog & de Meuron
© 2011, Marco Grob
- Ai Weiwei
© Ai Weiwei
Keywords: London, exhibition, pavilion, Kensington Gardens