Here are the first official photos of the 10th Serpentine Gallery Pavilion in Kensington Gardens, London, designed by French architect Jean Nouvel. Update: this project is included in Dezeen Book of Ideas, which is on sale now for £12.
The geometric structure combines lightweight translucent facade materials, retractable awnings and a 12 metre cantilevered wall.
The striking red colour of the pavilion contrasts with the surrounding park and refers to iconic symbols of London.
An auditorium will host the Park Nights programme of public talks and events and also a public café.
The temporary structure is the first building to be completed in the UK by Nouvel.
The pavilion opens to the public this Saturday the 10th and remains open until 17 October.
Photographs are by Philippe Ruault.
See our previous story about this year's pavilion here.
See also Dezeen’s top ten: pavilions
Here's more info from the Serpentine Gallery:
10th Serpentine Gallery Pavilion Designed by Jean Nouvel 10 July – 17 October 2010
In 2010 the Serpentine Gallery celebrates its 40th anniversary. This year the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion is designed by world-renowned French architect Jean Nouvel. This is the 10th commission in the Gallery’s annual architectural series, the world’s first and most ambitious programme of its kind. It will be the architect’s first completed building in the UK.
The Pavilion commission has become an international site for architectural experimentation and follows a long tradition of Pavilions by some of the world’s greatest architects. The immediacy of the commission – a maximum of six months from invitation to completion – provides a unique model worldwide.
The design for the 2010 Pavilion is a contrast of lightweight materials and dramatic metal cantilevered structures. The entire design is rendered in a vivid red that, in a play of opposites, contrasts with the green of its park setting. The colour reflects the iconic British images of traditional telephone boxes, post boxes and London buses.
The building consists of bold geometric forms, large retractable awnings and a freestanding wall that climbs 12m above the lawn, sloping at a gravity defying angle. Striking glass, polycarbonate and fabric structures create a versatile system of interior and exterior spaces.
Around the Pavilion, Nouvel has created spaces for outdoor enjoyment and play, bringing the tradition of French civic parks to London. Red table tennis tables, draughts, chess, frisbees and kites will be available for the public to play with throughout the summer months.
The flexible auditorium will accommodate the Serpentine Gallery café and the Gallery’s Park Nights programme which culminates in the 5th Serpentine Gallery Marathon: The Marathon of Maps for the 21 Century on 16 and 17 October.
Maps have a powerful hold on our imaginations, defining our understanding of geography, scale, space and ideas. Artists, writers, thinkers and scientists will present maps encompassing their experience of the world today.
Jean Nouvel is responsible for the design of over 200 buildings the world over, including the Copenhagen Concert Hall (2009); the Ferrari Factory, Modena (2009); Pavilion B at the Genoa Trade Fair (2009); 40 Mercer Street, NewYork (2008); the Musée du quai Branly, Paris (2006); the extension to the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (2006); the Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis (2001); the Torre Agbar, Barcelona (2000); the Culture and Congress Centre, Lucerne (2000), and the Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris (1989).
Nouvel’s body of work is unparalleled in its innovation and range. His approach is characterised by a conceptual rigour, rather than by an overarching aesthetic. He emphasises research, analysis and discussion, creating designs that are highly individual to each project. A key part of Nouvel’s process is his embrace of other disciplines, including music, literature and the moving image.
Jean Nouvel has worked with the structural design and engineering firm Arup, led by David Glover and Ed Clark with Cecil Balmond, to realise this project.
Julia Peyton-Jones, Director, and Hans Ulrich Obrist, Co-Director, Serpentine Gallery, said: ‘We could not be more thrilled that Jean Nouvel has designed the 10th Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, the only commission of its kind worldwide that annually invites pre-eminent architects to complete their first built structure in England. It is an honour to bring Nouvel’s globally acclaimed work to London for everyone to enjoy.’
There is no budget for the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion commission. It is paid for by sponsorship, sponsorship help-in-kind and the sale of the finished structure, which does not cover more than 40% of its cost. The Serpentine Gallery collaborates with a range of companies and individuals whose support makes it possible to realise the Pavilion. On the occasion of the 10th anniversary we are delighted the Pavilion is being supported by Arts Council England, through its Sustain programme.
Moira Sinclair, Executive Director of Arts Council England, London said: 'Our Sustain fund was established to help support artistic excellence in the context of the economic downturn, and the Serpentine Pavilion is a landmark example – uniquely special to and beloved by London, and a key 'moment' on the international visual arts and architectural calendars. I am delighted that this grant, alongside our core funding to the Gallery, will help ensure a stunning Pavilion for 2010 that will inspire, intrigue and entertain everyone who explores it.'
Arup will provide all the engineering and specialist design solutions for the Pavilion. Arup Director David Glover commented: ‘It is a privilege to support the Pavilion programme again this year on its 10th anniversary. Arup’s commitment to the Serpentine Pavilion reflects our belief in the project and the positive experience our teams get from working with some of the most exciting architects of our time. Ateliers Jean Nouvel are renowned for taking a rigorous and contextual approach to design which brings delight and surprise to all their projects. This year’s Pavilion is sure to be no exception.’
Peter Rogers, Director of Stanhope, will donate his expertise to all aspects of the Pavilion. He said: ‘The Serpentine Pavilion is a unique project whose innovative and challenging designs transcend normal building projects as well as fusing art and architecture in an exciting built form.’
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photographed by Iwan Baan
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