2016 Serpentine Pavilion revealed

Click to enlarge
Architect Bjarke Ingels in front of the Serpentine Pavilion 2016 designed by Danish studio Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG).

Architect Bjarke Ingels in front of the Serpentine Pavilion 2016 designed by Danish studio Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG). Image: Iwan Baan

1 of 12
Serpentine Pavilion 2016 designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG). The pavilion will be open to the public from 10 June till 9 October.

Serpentine Pavilion 2016 designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG). The pavilion will be open to the public from 10 June till 9 October. Image: Iwan Baan

2 of 12
The 2016 Serpentine Pavilion is designed as an 'unzipped wall', erected from pultruded fibreglass frames stacked on top of each other.

The 2016 Serpentine Pavilion is designed as an ‘unzipped wall’, erected from pultruded fibreglass frames stacked on top of each other. Image: Iwan Baan

3 of 12
Interior of Bjarke Ingel's Serpentine Pavilion. By day the structure will house a café and at night will be a space for the Serpentine's Park Nights programme that includes works by artists, writers and musicians.

Interior of Bjarke Ingel’s Serpentine Pavilion. By day the structure will house a café and at night will be a space for the Serpentine’s Park Nights programme that includes works by artists, writers and musicians. Image: Iwan Baan

4 of 12
Serpentine Summer House 2016 designed by Kunlé Adeyemi of Amsterdam practice NLÉ. The structure features a carved out interior and fragmented furniture blocks.

Serpentine Summer House 2016 designed by Kunlé Adeyemi of Amsterdam practice NLÉ. The structure features a carved out interior and fragmented furniture blocks. Image: Iwan Baan

5 of 12
Kunlé Adeyemi-designed Serpentine Summer House. An inverse replica of the historic Queen Caroline's Temple, this is a space for shelter and relaxation.

Kunlé Adeyemi-designed Serpentine Summer House. An inverse replica of the historic Queen Caroline’s Temple, this is a space for shelter and relaxation. Image: Iwan Baan

6 of 12
Serpentine Summer House 2016 designed by Barkow Leibinger. The horizontal banding recalls the layered coursing of Queen Caroline's Temple.

Serpentine Summer House 2016 designed by Barkow Leibinger. The horizontal banding recalls the layered coursing of Queen Caroline’s Temple. Image: Iwan Baan

7 of 12
Serpentine Summer House 2016 designed by Barkow Leibinger. The structure is conceived as a series of undulating structural bands, reminiscent of a blind contour drawing.

Serpentine Summer House 2016 designed by Barkow Leibinger. The structure is conceived as a series of undulating structural bands, reminiscent of a blind contour drawing. Image: Iwan Baan

8 of 12
Asif Khan designed this Serpentine Summer House. An undulating line of timber staves creates enclosure and direct views.

Asif Khan designed this Serpentine Summer House. An undulating line of timber staves creates enclosure and direct views. Image: Iwan Baan

9 of 12
Serpentine Summer House 2016 designed by Asif Khan. As the structure meets the gravel it gently blends the horizontal and vertical.

Serpentine Summer House 2016 designed by Asif Khan. As the structure meets the gravel it gently blends the horizontal and vertical. Image: Iwan Baan

10 of 12
The Serpentine Summer House 2016 designed by Yona Friedman is a 'space-chain' structure that constitutes a fragment of a larger grid structure.

The Serpentine Summer House 2016 designed by Yona Friedman is a ‘space-chain’ structure that constitutes a fragment of a larger grid structure. Image: Iwan Baan

11 of 12
Yona Friedman explains his Serpentine Summer House. The project builds on Friedman's <em>Spatial City</em> project that he began in the late 1950s.

Yona Friedman explains his Serpentine Summer House. The project builds on Friedman’s Spatial City project that he began in the late 1950s. Image: Iwan Baan

12 of 12

The Serpentine Galleries in London has revealed the completed structures for its expanded architecture programme for 2016, including the 16th annual Pavilion designed by Danish studio Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG). Conceived as an ‘unzipped wall’, the structure explores the concept of binary opposites. 

The 2016 Serpentine Pavilion is designed as an ‘unzipped wall’, erected from pultruded fibreglass frames stacked on top of each other. Image:  Iwan Baan

Bjarke Ingels comments, “We decided to work with one of the most basic elements of architecture: the brick wall. Rather than clay bricks or stone blocks, the wall is erected from pultruded fibreglass frames stacked on top of each other. The wall is then pulled apart to form a cavity within it, to house the events of the Pavilion’s programme.”

“We have attempted to design a structure that embodies multiple aspects that are often perceived as opposites: a structure that is free-form yet rigorous, modular yet sculptural, both transparent and opaque, both solid box and blob,” Ingels concludes.

Serpentine Galleries director, Julia Peyton-Jones, and co-director, Hans Ulrich Obrist, said: “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 and the four Summer Houses.”

Alongside the main Serpentine Pavilion, four newly commissioned Summer Houses have been designed by Kunlé Adeyemi of NLÉ (Amsterdam/Lagos), Barkow Leibinger (Berlin/New York), Yona Friedman (Paris) and Asif Khan (London). 

Serpentine Summer House 2016 designed by Kunlé Adeyemi of Amsterdam practice NLÉ. The structure features a carved out interior and fragmented furniture blocks. Image:  Iwan Baan
Serpentine Summer House 2016 designed by Barkow Leibinger. The horizontal banding recalls the layered coursing of Queen Caroline’s Temple. Image:  Iwan Baan

The Summer Houses are inspired by Queen Caroline’s Temple, a classical-style summer house designed by William Kent and built in 1734. Each of the five architects, aged between 36 and 93, have not completed a permanent structure in the UK.

Nigerian architect Kunlé Adeyemi has created an inverse replica of Queen Caroline’s Temple, stating, “The structure is a tribute to its robust form, space and material, recomposed into a new architectural language. By rotating the temple’s interior space, we expose the structure’s neo-classical plan, proportions and form.”

Asif Khan designed this Serpentine Summer House. An undulating line of timber staves creates enclosure and direct views. Image:  Iwan Baan
The Serpentine Summer House 2016 designed by Yona Friedman is a ‘space-chain’ structure that constitutes a fragment of a larger grid structure. Image:  Iwan Baan

The Summer House by American-German practice Barkow Leibinger was inspired by a second now-demolished 18th century pavilion that was also designed by William Kent. Taking cues from the absent structure, the practice has designed a “Summer House in-the-round, that stands free with all sides visible”.

London-based architect Asif Khan based his design on 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. ”The project is designed to offer new experiences of the park through dialogue with Queen Caroline’s Temple and the surrounding scenery,” Khan said.

Yona Friedman’s Summer House builds upon the architect’s project La Ville Spatiale (Spatial City) that he began in the late 1950s and was centered around the idea of mobile architecture. He comments, “The Serpentine Summer House is a modular structure that can be diassembled and assembled in different formations and compositions.”

Last year’s pavilion was a colourful chrysalis of translucent plastic created by Spanish duo SelgasCano.

The 2016 Serpentine Pavilion and summer houses will be exhibited from 10 June to 9 October. 


More news

Making moves

Making moves

Partner Content: INZIDE Commercial takes possession of a new warehouse in Auckland.
Te Whitianga: the crossing

Te Whitianga: the crossing

Warren and Mahoney and Boffa Miskell have collaborated on the Hendon footbridge – Te Whitianga – which is to open shortly.
Making her mark

Making her mark

Architectural grad Hannah Broatch of Unitec has won one of 8 prizes at the prestigious 2017 Hunter Douglas Archiprix Awards.
Lexus + Sofitel competition winner announced

Lexus + Sofitel competition

Announcing the winner of the luxury weekend prize at the Lexus Design Awards installation from this year’s Designday event.

Most read

On The Rise: Maria Chen

On The Rise: Maria Chen

For the third On The Rise interview, we talk to Maria Chen, an architectural graduate at Athfield Architects in Christchurch.
On the edge: The Farm

On the edge: The Farm

A new coastal home by Fergus Scott Architects that can accommodate up to thirty relatives and friends.