This year, the Serpentine Galleries in London celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Pavilion commission. Starting with Zaha Hadid as the architect of the first Serpentine Pavilion in 2000, many world-famous architects have created temporary structures in London’s Hyde Park, including Frank Gehry, 2008; Rem Koolhaas and Cecil Balmond, with Arup, 2006; Oscar Niemeyer, 2003; Daniel Libeskind with Arup, 2001; and Smiljan Radić, 2014. In 2015, Spanish architects selgascano (José Selgas and Lucía Cano) designed the 15th Serpentine Pavilion. The Pavilion is an amorphous, double-skinned, polygonal structure consisting of panels of a translucent, multi-colored fluorine-based polymer (ETFE) woven through and wrapped like webbing. The architects’ inspiration comes from the site itself, as well as from the ways in which people move through London, notably the Underground with its many-layered, chaotic yet structured flow.
On the run up to the Stirling Prize, 2016, The Architect’s Journal takes a look into the six nominated buildings, with interviews from the architects.
This private gallery in Vauxhall has involved the conversion of an extraordinary terrace of listed industrial buildings, that were formerly theatre carpentry and scenery painting workshops. The gallery forms the whole length of the street, with the three listed Victorian buildings flanked at either end by new buildings. The ground and upper floors within the five buildings are continuous, allowing them to be used flexibly in many combinations, to accommodate both large and small exhibitions. There are 3 large galleries on each of the two floors, stretching in a line from one end of the building to the other. The two gallery levels are connected by new spiral staircases and a large lift.
Along Newport Street and facing to the railway, the unusual proportions of the Victorian workshops, with their groups of low level windows and high blank walls above, have been continued in the design of the new buildings. The new facades are made with a hard pale red brick that closely matches the surface of the listed buildings. The five buildings next to each other, all different but obviously related, make a sheer and impressive street elevation.
The scheme includes a restaurant and administrative offices for the gallery. The building shows exhibitions of the client’s extensive collection of contemporary art, and is open to the public for free.