Serpentine Gallery Summer PavilionPosted on July 16th 2009
On Saturday 11th July, Andrew Paulson and Gary Wait of Lees Associates were delighted to accept an invitation to join other notable names in architecture and the arts at the launch of this year’s Pavilion at the Serpentine Gallery in Kensington Gardens. Conceived in 2000 by Serpentine Gallery Director Julia Peyton-Jones, the event is now in its tenth year. The main criterion for an architect to be invited to submit a design for the pavilion is to have never yet completed a building in England.
The 2009 Pavilion has been designed by Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa of the leading Japanese practice SANAA. Their design consists of an organic shaped “mirrored” roof structure that varies in height and form as it flows between the trees and natural surroundings of Kensington Gardens. The change of height complements the flow, appearing almost as a series of gentle waterfalls that subtly bring the roof to points no more than a metre above the ground; it is no coincidence that these are the areas where small children gather and play. The roof structure is supported by a series of delicate stainless steel columns, which allow complete freedom of movement through the pavilion.
It is in our opinion one of the better pavilions to have been commissioned since the series began. Many thanks to Julia Peyton-Jones for the kind invitations and our congratulations to Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa for a gloriously understated design.