Serpentine Pavilion 2016
The annual Serpentine Pavilion this year comes as a collective rather than a stand alone entity. Instead of the usual single pavilion, the Serpentine Gallery has expanded it's programme to include a total of five structures.
The main and largest pavilion by Bjarke Ingels Group occupies the lawn outside of the Serpentine Gallery and resembles something between a contemporary church and stack of crates. Constructed from a series of stacked fibreglass boxes the structure appears as an entirely rectangular block when viewed straight on. Move around to the side elevation however and you're greeted by a delicately tapering, seemingly unzipped structure. Described by the Danish architect as "both transparent and opaque, both solid box and blob", Bjarke Ingels perfectly describes this monolithic yet ephemeral structure. Inside, the space has a hushed quality which, in combination with the gracefully tapering structure, put me in mind of being in a cathedral; compelled to look upward.
Situated separately to the main pavilion, the additional four pavilions are located next to Queen Caroline's temple, a retreat constructed in 1735. These four "summer houses" designed by Kunlé Adeyemi, Barkow Leibinger, Yona Friedman and Asif Khan, reference Queen Caroline's temple in being contemporary interpretations of a folly within the park. My favourite of the four was Asif Khan's interpretation which is inspired by the position of the existing temple and the way it catches reflected light from the lake. The stark white structure feels almost skeletal and gives a sense of seclusion and privacy while remaining entirely open, and offers broken views across the park.