Hidden Gem – Hyde Park, London
The Serpentine Gallery Pavilion. Every year a new pavilion is built by a famous Architect or Designer, in London’s Hyde Park. The temporary structures are erected in 6 months and are then open to the public for 3.
This year’s pavilion has had it’s stay extended and is now open to visit until November 19th 2017. So if you’re in London be sure to visit the Pavilion before it’s taken down to make way for the 2018 design.
Architecture of the 2017 Serpentine Pavilion
Francis Kéré is the Architect behind this year’s Pavilion and his vision was that of a tree. He believes the tree is a meeting place for his culture and so it felt like the perfect symbol for this pavilion to bring people together. The canopy spanning overhead, supported only by the central trusses, and the open entrances to let wind pass through, were all symbolic of the tree structure.
They needed to protect the timber walls from weathering so a protective paint was used, but the colour Indigo Blue was chosen as it has a significance anyway; in his village it is the colour of celebration. This was his way of celebrating the opportunity to showcase his building in the heart of London’s Hyde Park. The pattern on the surrounding walls was also an important reference to African textiles. The idea that the solid walls could look like a floating textile evoking a light and flexible feeling.
Francis has great vision and passion so he is great to listen to. In this interview he talks about his pavilion and some of his other works and motivations.
Past projects at the Hyde Park Serpentine Pavilion
The Serpentine Pavilion project began back in 2000 and every year has had a different Architect showcase a temporary structure that speaks their unique vision of Architecture. These are exciting structures that push boundaries of what is possible in engineering and on a short timescale. The temporary nature of these Pavilions pushes Architects to make something memorable that will stick in the minds of the visitors.
Past projects include works from Zaha Hadid (2000), Daniel Libeskind (2001), Frank Gehry (2008) and many more famous visionaries.
It is truly an awesome project that has me going back year after year.
Visiting the Serpentine Pavilion in Hyde Park
To find the Pavilion you can get off at Knightsbridge Tube Station and head straight up into Hyde Park. From there you can walk along The Serpentine Lake to the West and follow signs for the Serpentine Gallery.
This is one you have to go for a bit of a walk to but it is well worth it to see these fleeting structures.
These Pavilions are always free to enter and have a small cafe inside for you to enjoy a drink or snack, which is great to stop off and enjoy the nature of the surrounding Hyde Park.
The Pavilion is on the edge of the Kensington Gardens so you can visit on your way to other sights such as The Royal Albert Hall and Kensington Palace.