A Colourful Serpentine

In June 2015 Serpentine Galleries (Kensington Gardens, London) celebrates the 15th anniversary of the world-renowned Pavilion commission with a psychedelic, colourful Serpentine.

This year’s design by Madrid-based architects SelgasCano shows an amorphous, double-skinned, polygonal structure consisting of panels of a translucent, multi-coloured fabric membrane (ETFE) woven through and wrapped in webbing. Visitors will be able to enter and exit the Pavilion at a number of different points, passing through a ‘secret corridor’ between the outer and inner layer of the structure and into the Pavilion’s brilliant, stained glass-effect interior. In an interview with The Guardian‘s Olivier Wainwright José Selgas said “It will be absolutely experimental from every angle you look through it,” […] “[we] sought a way to allow the public to experience architecture through simple elements,” creating a “journey through the space, characterised by colour, light and irregular shapes with surprising volumes.”


The architects José Selgas and Lucía Cano are a spanish duo known for combining new technologies and synthetic materials with an interest in the natural world, and often use bright colours and transparent surfaces in their projects. Their own studio is a see-through woodland tunnel, and a recently completed office refurbishment in London features an orange plastic seating area that bulges out of the facade. “In keeping with their reputation for playful designs and bold use of colour, SelgasCano‘s structure will be an extraordinary chrysalis-like structure, as organic as the surrounding gardens,” said Serpentine Galleries director Julia Peyton-Jones and co-director Hans Ulrich Obrist.


Over the past 15 years the Serpentine Pavilion has become an international site for architectural experimentation, presenting inspirational temporary structures by some of the world’s greatest architects. A much-anticipated landmark in London each summer, the Pavilion is one of the top-ten most visited architectural and design exhibitions in the world.

The Serpentine commissions a different architect to create the pavilion each year, offering them the chance to create their first built structure in England. Previous pavilion architects have included Peter Zumthor, Zaha Hadid, Sanaa, Herzog & de Meuron, Frank Gehry and Jean Nouvel. Last year’s boulder-like pavilion was created by Chilean architect Smiljan Radic. 

The 2015 Serpentine Pavilion will open on 25 June and close on 18 October. It will host a number of parties and public talks, as well a series of evening events sponsored by fashion brand COS. These will include new commissions by artists Jesse Darling, Fleur Melbourn and Marianna Simnett.

15th anniversary srpentine Pavillion

June, 25 2015 – October 18, 2015

Kensington Gardens, London W2

Text by Enrico Mancini

Photo courtesy of selgascano.net


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