Serpentine architecture program expands for 2016

BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group): Audemars Piguet Museum, Le Brassus, Switzerland, 2014. Image by BIG

Serpentine Galleries has been an inspiration to us all whether we are enjoying and accessing the latest from the UK via the web or visiting other similarly inspired locals in the city of Sydney, in the form of Fugitive Structures, or in Melbourne, as MPavilion.There is a universal fascination and need to explore the parameters of structure and space, and to extend our boundaries with the further intention of discovering new ways of living.

Barkow Leibinger, Fellows Pavilion - American Academy in Berlin 2015. Image © Stefan Muller

Barkow Leibinger, Fellows Pavilion – American Academy in Berlin 2015. Image © Stefan Muller

The Serpentine recently announced that, in tandem with the 16th Pavilion, that it will expand its internationally acclaimed program of exhibiting architecture in a built form by commissioning four architects to each design a 25sqm Summer House.

Queen Caroline's Temple, Kensington Gardens, London. Photo by Garry Knight

Queen Caroline’s Temple, Kensington Gardens, London. Photo by Garry Knight

The four Summer Houses are inspired by the nearby Queen Caroline’s Temple, a classical style summer house, built in 1734 that overlooks the Long Water and is a stone’s throw from the Serpentine Gallery.

In line with the criteria for the selection of the Pavilion architect, each architect chosen by the Serpentine has yet to build a permanent building in England.

Bjarke Ingels. Portrait by Jonas Bie

Bjarke Ingels. Portrait by Jonas Bie

The Pavilion will be designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) (Copenhagen/New York) and four Serpentine Summer Houses designed by Kunlé Adeyemi – NLÉ (Amsterdam/Lagos); Barkow Leibinger (Berlin/New York); Yona Friedman (Paris); and Asif Khan (London). Sited at one minute’s walk from the Serpentine Gallery they will complement the world-famous Pavilion commission on the Gallery’s lawn by offering visitors an unrivaled first-hand experience of contemporary architecture by leading international architects from across the generations, within the historic parkland of Kensington Gardens.

We are very lucky to have experienced some of Khan’s work in Australia his project Radiant Lines, exploring the concepts of line, rhythm, velocity and volume, installed at Federation Square in Melbourne.

Julia Peyton-Jones, Director, and Hans Ulrich Obrist, Co-Director, Serpentine Galleries, said:

“After 15 years, the Pavilion programme has expanded. It now comprises five structures, each designed by an architect of international renown, aged between 36 and 93. The Pavilion, which will be situated on the lawn of the Serpentine Gallery, as usual, will be joined by four 25sqm Summer Houses designed in response to Queen Caroline’s Temple, a classical-style summer house built in 1734. All projects have been thrilling to commission and will be equally exciting to realise. We cannot wait to unveil them all this summer.”

The Serpentine’s Pavilion commission, conceived in 2000 by Director Julia Peyton-Jones, has become an international site for architectural experimentation and has presented projects by some of the world’s greatest architects. Each Pavilion is sited on the Serpentine Gallery’s lawn for four months and the immediacy of the commission – taking a maximum of six months from invitation to completion – provides a unique model worldwide.

The selection of the architects, chosen for consistently extending the boundaries of architecture practice, is led by the Serpentine’s core curatorial thinking, introducing contemporary artists and architects to a wider audience. The brief is to design a 300-square-metre Pavilion that is used as a café by day and a forum for learning, debate and entertainment at night.

NLE, Makoko Floating School Lagos, Nigeria, 2012. Image by George Osodi

NLE, Makoko Floating School Lagos, Nigeria, 2012. Image by George Osodi

The Serpentine Pavilion is one of the top-ten most visited architectural and design exhibitions in the world. There is no budget for the project, it is realised through sponsorship, help-in-kind support and the sale of the Pavilion.

Yona Friedman at work in Los Angeles, USA

Yona Friedman at work in Los Angeles, USA

The Summer Houses are a significant addition to the commissioning of international architects to design a structure, which extends the concept of an exhibition of architecture as a built-form. The design of the Pavilion and Summer Houses is to consider their relationship to each other, to the Serpentine Gallery building and its uses, as well as to The Royal Park.