Since 2000, the Serpentine Gallery
in London’s Kensington Gardens
has called on some of the world’s top architects
to design summer pavilions—temporary structures that are erected next to the gallery for a three-month period. The Serpentine, built in 1934 as a tea pavilion, opened in 1970 to showcase works of modern and contemporary artists ranging from Matthew Barney to Dan Flavin, Ellsworth Kelley, Louise Bourgeois, or Rachel Whiteread.
The pavilions built for the program, conceived in 2000 by the Serpentine Director Julia Peyton-Jones, are the works of international architects or design teams who, at the time of invitation, have yet to build a structure in England. A maximum of six months from invitation to completion is allotted. The only architecture program of its kind in the world
, the Serpentine Gallery Pavilions attract up to 250,000 visitors each summer, and the event regularly ranks in the top five most attended architecture and design exhibitions
worldwide. The architect Richard Rogers has stated, “The pavilions, erected for relatively little money, are unbelievably good. I coudn’t single one out that I have liked more than the others—they have all been masterpieces.
This book is the first to bring together all of the Serpentine Pavilions. Interviews with Director Julia Peyton-Jones and Co-Director Hans Ulrich Obrist complete the project’s in-depth description, alongside original drawings by each architect and photos of the finished works.
The projects completed or envisaged include the work of
- Zaha Hadid, 2000
- Daniel Libeskind, 2001
- Toyo Ito, 2002
- Oscar Niemeyer, 2003
- MVRDV, 2004 (un-realized)
- Álvaro Siza and Eduardo Souto de Moura with Cecil Balmond, 2005
- Rem Koolhaas and Cecil Balmond, 2006
- Olafur Eliasson and Kjetil Thorsen, 2007
- Frank Gehry, 2008
- SANAA, 2009
- Jean Nouvel, 2010
- Also included are other works such as Zaha Hadid’s temporary 2006 installation Lilas