Ten years of temporary pavilions at the Serpentine

Ten years of temporary pavilions at the Serpentine
metalocus, JOSÉ JUAN BARBA
Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2006 by Rem Koolhaas & Cecil Balmond. Photography © Iwan Baan. Courtesy of Taschen
A book, very well edited, is the first to bring together all of the Serpentine Pavilions. The description of the pavilions, illustrated by the original drawings by each architect and photos of the completed works is complete with interviews of Serpentine Director Julia Peyton-Jones and Co-Director Hans Ulrich Obrist.

Since the summer of 2000, the Serpentine Gallery in London’s Kensington Gardens has called on some of the world’s top architects to design a pavilion – temporary structures that are erected next to the Gallery itself for a three-month period. The Serpentine, which was built in 1934 as a tea pavilion, opened in 1970 as a showplace for exhibitions of modern and contemporary artists ranging from Matthew Barney to Dan Flavin, Ellsworth Kelley, Louise Bourgeois or Rachel Whiteread.

I would like to highlight some of the pavilions for their exceptional character, all are bright, but without a doubt, the design by Rem Koolhaas and Cecil Balmond mark a before and an after, combining wit and imagination above formalities. The proposal, by Olafur Eliasson and Kjetil Thorsen, is an outstanding contribution between architecture and art. And SANAA shows us the immateriality of nowhere, the reflexes, the "modern primitive" idea from Japanese culture is moved to West, and it is followed by others later.

The pavilions in the Programme that was conceived in 2000 by the Serpentine Director Julia Peyton-Jones, are the work of international architects or design teams who at the time of the Se...read more