Serpentine Pavilion 2018 opens as a courtyard of light, water, geometry
This is the latest Serpentine Pavilion which opened this month in Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park as part of the annual architecture commission. It is a complex courtyard of light, water, and geometry created by Frida Escobedo, and like Mexico, this structure is at once tough, fluid, flexible – anchored in space and spaceless.
Escobedo is a complex architect with a small studio in Mexico concerned with reactivating urban spaces. Her temporary installation here is an enclosed courtyard, with two rectangular volumes positioned at an angle. The lattice walls are inspired by a celosia, the traditional breeze wall found in Mexican domestic architecture. Yet here they are made with a very English material, cement roof tiles, and designed to distort our vision to see the park as fragments of colours. Through a blend of simple materials made surprising, and the pivoted axis that traces the 1851 Greenwich meridian, we find ourselves reflecting on the past and present.
At 38, Escobedo is the youngest candidate and only the second female architect to complete the Pavilion project alone – the other being Zaha Hadid who designed the inaugural pavilion. Now in its 18th year, the annual project has evolved to include much more daring and radical projects, and by lesser-known world architects adding to its excitement. What started as an initiative for allowing some of the grandmasters of architecture to build in London, under the new leadership of chief executive Yana Peel and the Serpentine Galleries’ artistic director Hans Ulrich Obrist, is now a space for experimentation, for exploration and for opening a wider discourse as to the role of the arts in shaping our world.
At Spinach Branding we work with companies around the world helping them find a voice through branding and design. It is vital for our team to be engaged with the wider world of creativity. The Serpentine Pavilion is open to the public, free for all to experience until 7 October, and includes a host of events running all summer including creative talks in Park Nights and Saturday Talks, and the Radical Kitchen.
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