The Serpentine opens it expanded Architecture Programme for 2016 later this week: the 16th annual Pavilion designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) (Copenhagen/New York) and four newly commissioned Summer Houses by Kunlé Adeyemi – NLÉ (Amsterdam/Lagos), Barkow Leibinger (Berlin/New York), Yona Friedman (Paris) and Asif Khan (London). The Summer Houses are inspired by Queen Caroline’s Temple, a classical style summer house built in 1734 and a stone’s throw from the Serpentine Gallery.
Introducing contemporary architecture to a wider audience, the Serpentine Architecture Programme presents a unique exhibition of contemporary international architecture in the built form, rather than through an exhibition of models, drawings and plans. Each of the five architects, aged between 36 and 93, have not completed a permanent structure in the UK.
The Serpentine Pavilion, designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), is an ‘unzipped wall’ that is transformed from straight line to three-dimensional space, creating a dramatic structure that by day houses a café and free family activities and by night becomes a space for the Serpentine’s acclaimed Park Nights programme of performative works by artists, writers and musicians. Kunlé Adeyemi’s Summer House is an inverse replica of Queen Caroline’s Temple - a tribute to its robust form, space and material, recomposed into a new sculptural object. Barkow Leibinger were inspired by another, now extinct, 18th Century pavilion also designed by William Kent, which rotated and offered 360 degree views of the Park. Yona Friedman’s Summer House takes the form of a modular structure that can be assembled and disassembled in different formations and builds upon the architect’s pioneering project La Ville Spatiale (Spatial City) begun in the late 1950s. Asif Khan’s design is inspired by the fact that Queen Caroline’s Temple was positioned in a way that it would allow it to catch the sunlight from The Serpentine lake.
Serpentine Galleries Director, Julia Peyton-Jones, and Co-Director, Hans Ulrich Obrist, said:
We are delighted to reveal the designs for our expanded Architecture Programme. As you can see from the architect’s renders, Bjarke Ingels has responded to the brief for a multi-purpose Pavilion with a supremely elegant structure that is both curvaceous wall and soaring spire, that will surely serve as a beacon - drawing visitors across Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens to visit the Pavilion, the Summer Houses and our major exhibitions by Alex Katz and Etel Adnan. The response to design a Summer House inspired by the 18th Century Queen Caroline’s Temple by our four international architects has been equally inspired and has produced four unique spaces for visitors to explore this summer.
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