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In pictures: Jean Nouvel's Serpentine Pavilion

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[FIRST LOOK] This year’s Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, designed by French starchitect Jean Nouvel, opens to the public this Saturday (10 July)

The vivid red structure in London’s Kensington Gardens has a freestanding 12m-high wall that slopes at a ‘gravity-defying angle’.

Made from glass, polycarbonate and fabric, the gallery’s 10th pavilion ‘experiments with the idea of play’ and incorporates outdoor games. Retractable awnings cover a flexible auditorium.

This venue will accommodate the Serpentine Gallery café and the Gallery’s Park Nights programme which culminates in the 5th Serpentine Gallery Marathon: The Marathon of Maps for the 21 Century on 16-17 October.

Each year the Serpentine Gallery gives an eminent architect the chance to complete their first building in England. Nouvel follows architects such as Zaha Hadid, Oscar Niemeyer, Toyo Ito to design the temporary summer event space.

Nouvel worked on the pavilion with an Arup team led by David Glover and Ed Clark with Cecil Balmond.

Speaking to the AJ at a press conference yesterday Nouvel said: ‘Every architect tries to do a sample of his attitude. This is my attitude.

‘My attitude is always architecture of situation, context. I’ve worked a lot against generic architecture, every client has the right to a unique answer.’

He added: ‘The red accelerates the green [of the park], the green accelerates the red [of the building].’

Jean Nouvel's Serpentine Pavilion 2010

Jean Nouvel’s Serpentine Pavilion 2010


Julia Peyton-Jones, director, and Hans Ulrich Obrist, co-director of the Serpentine Gallery, said: ‘We could not be more thrilled that Jean Nouvel has designed the 10th Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, the only commission of its kind worldwide that annually invites pre-eminent architects to complete their first built structure in England. It is an honour to bring Nouvel’s globally acclaimed work to London for everyone to enjoy.’

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