The Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2009 is designed by Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa of leading Japanese architecture practice SANAA. The Pavilion, which is sponsored by NetJets Europe, will remain until 18 October. Describing their structure the architects said: ‘The Pavilion is floating aluminium, drifting freely between the trees like smoke. The reflective canopy undulates across the site, expanding the park and sky. Its appearance changes according to the weather, allowing it to melt into the surroundings. It works as a field of activity with no walls, allowing uninterrupted view across the park and encouraging access from all sides. It is a sheltered extension of the park where people can read, relax and enjoy lovely summer days.’
Sejima and Nishizawa have created a stunning Pavilion that resembles a reflective cloud or a floating pool of water, sitting atop a series of delicate columns. The metal roof structure varies in height, wrapping itself around the trees in the park, reaching up towards the sky and sweeping down almost to the ground in various places. Open and ephemeral in structure, its reflective materials make it sit seamlessly within the natural environment, reflecting both the park and sky around it. The Pavilion will be the architects’ first built structure in the UK and the ninth commission in the Gallery’s annual series of Pavilions.
Separate areas within the Pavilion contain spaces for a café and an auditorium, where the Park Night events programme will be presented, including performances, talks, film screenings and the Serpentine Gallery Poetry Marathon. Julia Peyton-Jones, Director, and Hans Ulrich Obrist, Co-Director, Serpentine Gallery, said: ‘Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa’s design embraces the parkland around the Serpentine Gallery as never before with an extraordinarily innovative design, which reveals the subtle play on light and perception so characteristic of their work. This Pavilion will be a wonderful addition to London’s landscape this summer. It is our dream come true.’