Smiljan Radic

Serpentine Pavilion 2014 . London


+ Serpentine Gallery . images: © 2014 Smiljan Radic Studio . photos: © 2014 Iwan Baan . © Hufton+Crow

The Serpentine has commissioned Chilean architect Smiljan Radic to design the Serpentine Galleries Pavilion 2014.

above photos: © 2014 Iwan Baan




































above photos: © Hufton+Crow






Radic is the fourteenth architect to accept the invitation to design a temporary Pavilion outside the entrance to the Serpentine Gallery in Kensington Gardens. The commission is one of the most anticipated events in the cultural calendar, and has become one of London's leading summer attractions since launching in 2000.
Occupying a footprint of some 350 square metres on the lawn of the Serpentine Gallery, plans depict a semi-translucent, cylindrical structure, designed to resemble a shell, resting on large quarry stones. Radic's Pavilion has its roots in his earlier work, particularly The Castle of the Selfish Giant, inspired by the Oscar Wilde story, and the Restaurant Mestizo, part of which is supported by large boulders. Design as a flexible, multi-purpose social space with a café sited inside, the Pavilion will entice visitors to enter and interact with it in different ways throughout its four-month tenure in the Park.

‘The Radić Pavilion is part of a history of small romantic constructions seen in parks or large gardens, the so-called follies, which were hugely popular from the late 16th century to the beginning of the 19th century. In general, follies appear as ruins or worn away by time, displaying an extravagant, surprising and often primitive nature. These characteristics artificially dissolve the temporal and physical limits of the constructions themselves with their natural surroundings. This pavilion takes these principles and applies them to a contemporary architectural language. Thus, the unusual shape and sensual qualities of the pavilion have a strong physical impact on the visitor. The simultaneously enclosed and open volumes of the structure explore the relationship between the surrounding environment and the interior of the pavilion. From the outside, visitors see a fragile shell in the shape of a hoop suspended on large quarry stones. Appearing as if they had always been part of the landscape these stones are used as supports, giving the pavilion on the one hand a physical weight and on the other holding a structure characterised by lightness and fragility. The shell, which is white, translucent and made of fibreglass, contains an interior that is organised around an empty patio at ground level, giving the sensation that the entire volume is floating. The shell’s surface appears torn thereby incorporating the surroundings of the garden into the interior. The floor is grey wooden decking as if the interior was more a terrace rather than a protected interior space.’
– Smiljan Radić, 2014


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