The Danish architect Bjarke Ingels’ design for this year’s Serpentine pavilion is, according to various writers on architecture, the best in this project’s sixteen year history.
Ingels, from the firm BIG, designed to curving ‘walls, leaning toward each other and touching at a height of 14m above ground. The walls is made up of nearly 2 000 rectangles, made of a fibre glass strengthened polymer and is open on the two opposing sides, allowing someone inside the pavilion to be constantly able to look out.
Rowan Moore, architecture critic of The Observer, describes the structure as, at times, tent-like, mountain-like, anatomical and churchy. “It revels in inversion and surprise: its components are brick-like but light; they are straight-lined and right-angled, but generate curves in their stacking. A one-dimensional vertical line at each end grows from a 2D plane into a 3D swelling. From some positions, you can look straight through the boxes to the greenery beyond, such that they almost disappear. From others, they present blank flanks and the building becomes solid. It is mechanical and organic, filtering and editing the surroundings as if through the leaves of a pixelated tree.”
According to Ellis Woodman of the Telegraph the big structure’s apparent ‘lightness’ is part of its appeal.
Julia Peyton Jones, for the past 26 years head of the Serpentine gallery, started the annual Serpentine pavilion, where a noted international architect would make a design every year.