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London's 2014 Serpentine Pavilion arrives in new rural home

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Chilean architect Smiljan Radic’s 2014 Serpentine Pavilion has been re-erected in its new long-term home in Somerset

The pavilion, which sat in London’s Kensington Gardens until it was dismantled last October, has been relocated to the gardens of the Hauser & Wirth gallery and arts centre at Durslade Farm, Bruton.

Positioned at the end of Oudolf Field - a landscaped garden designed by Piet Oudolf - visitors to the centre will have the opportunity to walk around, through and underneath the pavilion.

The 170m2 structure is made from fibreglass and resembles a semi-translucent shell resting on large stones.The interior is organised around an empty patio with grey wooden decking.

The inspiration for the design came from Radic’s earlier work, in particular the studio model for the Oscar Wilde inspired Castle of the Selfish Giant, which features a thin shell structure.

Radic has rarely built out of his home country of Chile. His major projects include a number of private houses and restaurants in his home town of Santiago, Chile. 

To coincide with the arrival of the pavilion, a series of exhibitions, events and installations on the theme of architecture has been programmed.

Radic Pavilion

Source: Ken Adlard

Radic Pavilion, designed by Smiljan Radic (2014) Hauser&Wirth Somerset, 2015

The architect’s view - Smiljan Radic

‘[My] pavilion is part of a history of small romantic constructions seen in parks or large gardens, the so-called follies, which were hugely popular from the late 16th century to the beginning of the 19th century. In general, follies appear as ruins or worn away by time, displaying an extravagant, surprising and often primitive nature. These characteristics artificially dissolve the temporal and physical limits of the constructions themselves with their natural surroundings. This pavilion takes these principles and applies them to a contemporary architectural language.

‘Thus, the unusual shape and sensual qualities of the pavilion have a strong physical impact on the visitor. The simultaneously enclosed and open volumes of the structure explore the relationship between the surrounding environment and the interior of the pavilion. From the outside, visitors see a fragile shell in the shape of a hoop suspended on large quarry stones.

‘Appearing as if they had always been part of the landscape these stones are used as supports, giving the pavilion on the one hand a physical weight and on the other holding a structure characterised by lightness and fragility. The shell, which is white, translucent and made of fibreglass, contains an interior that is organised around an empty patio at ground level, giving the sensation that the entire volume is floating. The shell’s surface appears torn thereby incorporating the surroundings of the garden into the interior. The floor is grey wooden decking as if the interior was more a terrace rather than a protected interior space.’

Smiljan Radic's Serpentine Pavilion 2014

Before its move: the pavilion in London (summer 2014)

 

 

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