For the Serpentine’s 40th Anniversary the gallery commissioned renowned French architect Jean Nouvel to design its 10th annual pavilion. Following the tradition of experimentation associated with the Serpentine Pavilions, Nouvel designed a dramatic and daring red structure that contrasts lightweight materials with metal cantilevers. Large awnings and sloped walls in geometric forms provide the framework for glass, polycarbonate and fabric infills that create an interesting play between interior and exterior spaces. The structure is multifunctional, operating as a public space, cafe and an auditorium that will accommodate the Serpentine Gallery Park Nights. The design playfully incorporates traditional French outdoor tennis-tables.
The program has a unique model, giving the designer a maximum of six months for the entire process – from commission to completion, but with no budget restriction. Nouvel approached this project with the same conceptual rigour associated with his work so far and designed a dynamic pavilion for Londoners to enjoy for the summer.
(Images are by Philippe Ruault)