frida escobedo designs courtyard of light play for 2018 serpentine pavilion

frida escobedo designs courtyard of light play for 2018 serpentine pavilion

mexican architect frida escobedo has been named as the designer of the 2018 serpentine pavilion. the proposed scheme harnesses a subtle interplay of light, water, and geometry through a lattice enclosure surrounding a triangular pool. escobedo is the 18th architect to design the temporary structure, a prestigious annual commission from london’s serpentine galleries.

serpentine pavilion 2018 designed by frida escobedo, taller de arquitectura, design rendering, interior view
image © frida escobedo, taller de arquitectura, renderings by atmósfera (also main image)



the design draws on both the domestic architecture of mexico and british materials and history, specifically the meridian line at london’s royal observatory in greenwich. escobedo’s pavilion will take the form of a courtyard enclosed by dark latticed walls made from cement tiles, playing on the celosia — a typical feature in mexican architecture that allows breezes to permeate a structure.

serpentine pavilion 2018, designed by frida escobedo, taller de arquitectura, design drawing
image © frida escobedo, taller de arquitectura



the movement of light and shadow created from these perforations will be further enhanced by the mirror-clad curved underside of the canopy which will reflect the body of water. the pavilion will comprise two rectangular volumes positioned at an angle, referencing the prime meridian — a line of longitude at london’s royal observatory in greenwich.

frida escobedo, el eco pavilion, 2010, mexico city
image by rafael gamo



my design for the serpentine pavilion 2018 is a meeting of material and historical inspirations inseparable from the city of london itself and an idea which has been central to our practice from the beginning: the expression of time in architecture through inventive use of everyday materials and simple forms’, explains frida escabedo.for the serpentine pavilion, we have added the materials of light and shadow, reflection and refraction, turning the building into a timepiece that charts the passage of the day.

frida escobedo, el eco pavilion, 2010, mexico city
image by rafael gamo



with this bold interior, frida draws history into the present and redefines the meaning of public space,’ adds serpentine galleries artistic director, hans ulrich obrist and CEO, yana peel. as the sun moves across the sky, reflected and refracting light, visitors may feel a heightened awareness of time spent in play, improvisation and contemplation over the summer months.

frida escobedo, la tallera, 2012, cuernavaca, morelos, mexico
image by rafael gamo



the pavilion will be open to the public from june 15 to october 7, 2018 in london’s kensington gardens and will include a café as well as a program of art, architecture, music, film, and dance events.

portrait of frida escobedo
image by ana hop

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