Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2011 by Peter Zumthor
photographed by Hufton + Crow

| 23 comments

Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2011 by Peter Zumthor

Here are some more photographs of Peter Zumthor's recently-opened Serpentine Gallery Pavilion in London, taken by UK photographers Hufton + Crow. Update: this project is included in Dezeen Book of Ideas, which is on sale now for £12.

Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2011 by Peter Zumthor

The black-painted pavilion surrounds a planted garden by Piet Oudolf.

Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2011 by Peter Zumthor

Visitors enter through a dark corridor between the outer walls.

Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2011 by Peter Zumthor

Long benches line the inner courtyard and cafe-style furniture provides additional seating, although there isn't a cafe.

Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2011 by Peter Zumthor

Facing the central strip of planting, this seating is sheltered by an overhanging canopy.

Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2011 by Peter Zumthor

The pavilion has a timber structure covered in gauze and is coated in black adhesive.

Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2011 by Peter Zumthor

It opened on Friday in Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park.

Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2011 by Peter Zumthor

The structure remains open to the public until 16 October.

Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2011 by Peter Zumthor

More information and images by Walter Herfst can be seen in our earlier story.

Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2011 by Peter Zumthor

Watch Zumthor talking about the pavilion and his work in our interview on Dezeen Screen.

Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2011 by Peter Zumthor

See more stories about the Serpentine Gallery pavilions on Dezeen »

Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2011 by Peter Zumthor

See all of our stories about Peter Zumthor »

Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2011 by Peter Zumthor

More pavilions on Dezeen »

Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2011 by Peter Zumthor

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Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2011 by Peter Zumthor

  • Chris

    Despite the garden, the space still feels dead to me. I don't think the plantings are expressive enough to take precedent over the brooding black perimeter block that to me is quite frankly, boring. And cafe seating but no cafe? What is supposed to activate this space? Ostensibly the pavilion and garden itself, but it doesn't do the trick for me.. I'd need a beer and a croissant to be enticed to sit longer than a minute.

    • bill

      sounds like you haven't visited it. if you had, you'd realise that the scale is what makes this perfect. other people are just the right distance away. and when it rains … magical!

    • celine

      totally agree with you!

    • Eris

      Yeah I wish there were more neon signs & advertisements to tickle my inner consumer capitalist. I really don't get subtle genius at all, & I prefer stimulating my senses all at once, like stuffing my face with croissants & guzzling down booze & listening to some awesome europop with a skanky blonde pole dancing inside the pavilion. & it needs more angles on the walls, & maybe throw in some corinthian capitals on a titanium column on every corner of the building, along with a negro butler greeting everyone at the entrance with a serving tray constantly refilled by cheap german bubbly. Now that is architecture.

  • http://www.andytmoller.com Andy

    I don’t care what anyone says. This pavilion rules

  • http://www.marco-lammers.nl Mks

    it is a slight disappointment this, judging from the photos. Primarely due to garden-design not living up to expectations, and secondarely due to the use of cafe seating which suggest the pavilion is an active meeting place instead of a simple quiet framing of space. I can be wrong, but I always thought the seating would be incorporated in the wall, making it a far less dominant element of the spae.

    • http://twitter.com/moore_d @moore_d

      Not quite sure why the garden design does not live up to expectations? It's in the trademark Oudolf style, and fairly typical of his work given the size of the space. Obviously personal appreciations of it will differ according to taste, but it pretty much fulfils it's stated brief. Whether someone else would have been more appropriate would be a matter for debate, but after Nouvel's token gesture towards a garden last year, this is certainly a welcome relief.

  • greater

    "I'd need a beer and a croissant to be enticed to sit -longer than a minute-".
    That's the difference between people like you, and people like Zumthor.

    • yiannis

      No, that's the difference between NOT liking a space Zumthor made and Zumthor himself.

  • eij

    People like Zumthor??? WTF :) Common really :)
    It's just missing something, it has to much free space for nothing.

  • Pete

    " "I'd need a beer and a croissant to be enticed to sit -longer than a minute-".
    That's the difference between people like you, and people like Zumthor" "

    It should be designed for people other than just architects.

    ..As for these photos, how did that guy get away with taking a barclays bike inside?

    • bill

      who cares if he takes a barclays bike through it? it's not an art gallery… there were quite a few people wheeling their bikes through last saturday.

  • Catherine G

    I was at the opening of the pavilion and its failure was clear – people would much rather sit on the grass outside the pavilion enjoying the nature of hyde park than inside the mean black box with its rather depressing garden. Unfortunately hyde park beats Oudolf.

    • http://twitter.com/moore_d @moore_d

      Rather unfair comparison between the Royal Parks and Oudolf, in terms of scale, economics and style. Each do their own thing, and do it well. Oudolf's hard won influence on contemporary garden design in the UK is an achievement in itself, and his appearance in the pavilion is something to be welcomed. Whilst it may not quite as impressive as his work on the High Line in New York, it's certainly quite an upgrade from Nouvel's token gesture towards a garden in the pavilion last year.

  • L-dogge

    Zumthor has done some really great stuff…this pavilion is not one of them :(

  • Mert

    It's like sitting in a tar pit and staring at a well planted traffic island.

  • Joe

    The emperor has no clothes.

  • http://twitter.com/Todd_Andelin @Todd_Andelin

    Nice framed space. Eulerian, real-time snapshot living camera lens space. To me it represents a simple control volume space for human interaction.
    Is this some kind of social space framed as if it were a computer screen?

  • martini-girl

    Is this the most depressing garden space in the world or what?

    The entry has the ominous feel of a WW2 bunker. And then once you get inside there is…NOTHING. Absolutely nothing.

    I agree with the very first post that descibes this as a 'dead' space. There is no life, no focal point, no excitement. I suspect that the most interaction anyone would have with this space is to peek their head in the door and retreat to the lovely grounds surrounding it.

  • James

    Peter Zumthor's previous work has set the bar so high for our expectations of him, that we truly feel disappointed when he fails to turn plywood and rubber into magic for once.

  • Cian

    Was at this yesterday – wasn't too sure judging by photos previously – but in the flesh this place is really beautiful. Especially when it pours down with rain – magical.

    A simple game of counterpoint pulled off extremely well. The garden seems to glow against the receding background. Go see it.

  • p_k

    Please, try to understand this oeuvre. Then clarify yourselves. One of the greatest architectural-spiritual moments is that house. It’s a place. Not only a space. Just think about it, from layer to layer… thank you.

  • Kendal

    I’m doing a study for my dissertation on places of rest and relaxation in the city. Peter Zumthor’s designs are profoundly known for the atmosphere they hold and the fact that he tries to create a space to relax.

    I am using this design as one of my case studies, however as I could not be there to witness the design I want to know your thoughts on it. Does it work? If you experienced it, what feelings did you gain from it? What do you think about the way it has been designed? Do you think the aim of relaxation has been achieved? Is it the surroundings of the building which help to achieve this – the light, materials, etc?