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First glimpse of new Serpentine Pavilion - image

The AJ has uncovered the first details and images of this year's Serpentine Gallery Pavilion (see above for an artist's impression of the new pavilion).

Designed by Icelandic artist Ólafur Elíasson with architect Kjetil Thorsen from Norwegian practice Snøhetta, the temporary pavilion in Kensington Gardens, London, will feature a two-storey winding ramp (see below for a link to Westminster's planning paper).

Visitors will be able to walk up to the top of the 450m2 steel-framed circular structure, making the new pavilion the first to break away from the usual single-level layout.

The building will be surrounded by a reflecting pool and is to be lit by daylight through an oculus in the roof.

Part art installation, part café - the central ground-floor space will seat 200 people - the scheme is a last-minute replacement for the unrealised pavilion by Frei Otto.

The 81-year-old German engineer's design was postponed earlier this month after it became clear that his 'pioneering structure' would need further development ( Otto off Serpentine, Balmond back in ).

Thorsen and Elíasson's pavilion was submitted for planning earlier this week - the second submission, after an incorrect fee was enclosed with the initial application.

Work is expected to start on site in May.

To view the full planning application - and the images of the new pavilion - click here .

by Richard Waite

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