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First look: SANAA's Serpentine Pavilion

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This is the first image of the 2009 Serpentine Pavilion, designed by Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa of SANAA

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 views to extend uninterrupted 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.’

The pavilion opens in July and will remain in place outside the Serpentine Gallery’s until October.

The pavilion will be the architects’ first built structure in the UK and the ninth commission in the gallery’s annual series of pavilions.

Julia Peyton-Jones, director, and Hans Ulrich Obrist, co-director at the 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.’

Separate areas within the pavilion contain spaces for a café and an auditorium, where public programmes will be presented, including performances, talks, film screenings and a poetry marathon.

  • 6 Comments

Readers' comments (6)

What do you think of SANAA's Serpentine Pavilion

  • This one looks well worth waiting for after some recent disappointments.

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  • ‘The pavilion is floating aluminium, drifting freely between the trees like smoke' - I think someone has been watching too many episodes of Lost!

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  • It looks like a random shape cut out of a photo of a lake and stuck on a crowd scene. Either the Journal is selling this architect very short, or it is a terrible design. I am a final year student, and can happily say that noone at my university would get away with that kind of design: vague and meaningless.

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  • Lets hope they don't float one of their (Serpentine) horrid 'in the style of' coffee joints into the equation this time!

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  • This is the kind of commission that baffles us in the developing world. I think it is a proper response to an unnecessary design brief.

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  • Not much to it, is there?

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