four serpentine summer houses pay tribute to queen caroline’s temple in london four serpentine summer houses pay tribute to queen caroline’s temple in london
jun 07, 2016

four serpentine summer houses pay tribute to queen caroline’s temple in london

four serpentine summer houses pay tribute to queen caroline’s temple in london
(above) serpentine summer house 2016 designed by barkow leibinger
image © iwan baan

 

 

 

in addition to the 16th annual pavilion designed by bjarke ingels, four summer houses realized by kunlé adeyemi, barkow leibinger, yona friedman, and asif khan form part of 2016’s ‘serpentine architecture programme’. the temporary structures are inspired by queen caroline’s temple, a nearby classical style summer house built in 1734. rather than using models, drawings, and plans, the newly commissioned programme presents an exhibition of contemporary international architecture in the built form. as with previous editions of the pavilion, each of the five architects — aged between 36 and 93 — have not completed a permanent structure in the UK. see more on BIG’s pavilion here, and read about each of the four summer houses in more detail below.

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serpentine summer house 2016 designed by barkow leibinger
image © iwan baan

 

 

 

barkow leibinger was inspired by another, now-extinct 18th century pavilion, which rotated and offered 360 degree views of the park. ‘this small pavilion rotated mechanically 360 degrees at the top of the hill, offering various panoramic views of the park and, reciprocally, different views of itself when seen from the park,’ explains the design team. ‘it was meant both to be visible in the park and a structure from which to survey its surroundings.’ with this absent structure in mind, barkow leibinger’s design is conceived as a series of undulating structural bands — reminiscent of a blind contour drawing.

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serpentine summer house 2016 designed by barkow leibinger
image © iwan baan

 

 

 

kunlé adeyemi’s summer house is an inverse replica of queen caroline’s temple — a tribute to its robust form, space and material, recomposed into a new sculptural object. ‘with a play on architecture, our design aims to fulfill the simple primary purpose of a summer house: a space for shelter and relaxation,’ explains adeyemi. ‘by rotating the temple’s interior space, we expose the structure’s neoclassical plan, proportions and form. using prefabricated building blocks assembled from rough sandstone similar to those used in building the temple, in contrast with a soft interior finish, our composition generates basic elements of architecture – a room, a doorway and a window – for people to interact with the building, the environment and with one another.’ the carved-out void and the fragmented furniture blocks which surround it create a series of comfortable spaces for visitors to congregate and relax.

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serpentine summer house 2016 designed by kunlé adeyemi (NLÉ)
image © iwan baan

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serpentine summer house 2016 designed by kunlé adeyemi (NLÉ)
image © iwan baan

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serpentine summer house 2016 designed by kunlé adeyemi (NLÉ)
image © iwan baan

 

 

 

yona friedman’s summer house takes the form of a modular structure that can be assembled and disassembled in different formations. the work builds upon the 93 year-old architect’s pioneering project ‘la ville spatiale’ (spatial city), which begun in the late 1950s. friedman explains the manifesto for this previous project as follows: ‘firstly, a mobile architecture that could create an elevated city space and enable the growth of cities while restraining the use of land; secondly, the use of modular structures to allow people to live in housing of their own design.’ friedman’s summer house forms a ‘space-chain’ structure that constitutes a fragment of a larger grid, originally conceived for la ville spatiale.

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serpentine summer house 2016 designed by yona friedman
image © iwan baan

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serpentine summer house 2016 designed by yona friedman
image © iwan baan

serpentine-summer-houses-2016-kunle-adeyemi-barkow-leibinge-yona-friedman-asif-khan-designboom-02
serpentine summer house 2016 designed by yona friedman
image © iwan baan

 

 

 

asif khan’s design forms a response to the alignment of queen caroline’s temple, which was positioned to catch sunlight from the adjacent serpentine lake. ‘through sun path analysis I realized that kent aligned the temple toward the direction of the rising sun on 1st march 1683, queen caroline’s birthday,’ explains kahn. ‘this effect would have been amplified by the reflection off the newly created serpentine lake. we can imagine that the serpentine lake itself may have been designed to amplify this annual moment, a landscape-sized mirror to reflect the sun, a possibility which john rennie’s 1826 bridge obscures.’ the structure itself comprises a polished metal platform and roof that provides an intimate experience of this lost moment for the visitor. internally, three ‘rooms’ of differing spatial quality gently enfilade together like those in the temple. these are articulated by an undulating line of timber staves which create enclosure and direct views.

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serpentine summer house 2016 designed by asif khan
image © iwan baan

 

 

 

serpentine galleries director, julia peyton-jones, and co-director, hans ulrich obrist, commented: ‘we are delighted to reveal the designs for our expanded architecture programme. the response to design a summer house inspired by the 18th century queen caroline’s temple by our four international architects has been inspired and has produced four unique spaces for visitors to explore this summer.’ 

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serpentine summer house 2016 designed by asif khan
image © iwan baan

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serpentine summer house 2016 designed by asif khan
image © iwan baan

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