vibrantly diffusing the green and blue hues of the surrounding hyde park, london, frida escobedo has designed the dramatically black serpentine pavilion 2018 as a blur of mexican architectural influence and british heritage. the architect, celebrated for her projects that reactivate urban space, is the 18th and youngest to design the annual temporary pavilion on the gallery’s lawn. she follows a long and substantial list of international names whose first UK structure has been the pavilion, starting in 2000 by the late zaha hadid.


image © designboom
main image: serpentine pavilion 2018, designed by frida escobedo, serpentine gallery, london
© frida escobedo, taller de arquitectura, photography © 2018 iwan baan

 

 

frida escobedo’s serpentine pavilion, which is open from june 15th to october 7th 2018, is fabricated from a lattice of cement roof tiles, chosen for their dark colors and textured surfaces. whilst referencing ‘celosia’ – a traditional breeze wall common of mexican architecture – the structure blurs the surrounding park and the serpentine gallery itself. the outer walls align with this building while, inside, the axis of the internal courtyard is pivoted directly to the north in influence of the prime meridian line at london’s royal observatory in greenwich.


image © designboom

 

 

the pivoted axis refers to the prime meridian established in 1851 at the royal observatory in nearby greenwich, the global standard marker of time and geographical distance,’ explains frida escobedo.the intersecting planes produced by this simple rotation produce a series of irregular shapes and defined boundaries, with each area within the pavilion encouraging play, circulation, contemplation and conversation.


image © designboom

 

 

internally, the pavilion takes the form of an enclosed courtyard, another common feature of mexican domestic architecture. here, there is a constant and every changing interplay of light, water and geometry. a triangular pool is cast into the floor, reflecting the surrounding structure and the sky above. similarly, the curved underside of the canopy is clad with mirrored panels, reflecting the lively meeting place below. these two elements emphasize the movement of light and shadow over the course of the day.


serpentine pavilion 2018, designed by frida escobedo, serpentine gallery, london
© frida escobedo, taller de arquitectura, photography © 2018 iwan baan

 

 

the design ensures visitors will feel a unique experience on each visit. furthermore, by observing the subtle interplays of the pavilion’s elements and the open environment around it, guests will be aware of time spent in play, improvisation and contemplation. ‘the movement of the sun across the sky, reflected and refracted by the pool and mirrored ceiling, encourages an awareness of time spent in shared experience and in contemplation,continues escobedo. ‘we add the materials of light and shadow, reflection and refection, turning the building into a timepiece that charts the passage of the day.


main image: serpentine pavilion 2018, designed by frida escobedo, serpentine gallery, london
© frida escobedo, taller de arquitectura, photography © 2018 iwan baan


image © designboom


image © designboom


image © designboom


image © designboom


image © designboom


image © designboom


image © designboom

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