Frank Gehry, Summer Pavilion, Serpentine Gallery, London

Another controversial structure graces the lawn at the Serpentine Gallery. Gehry’s explosion of glass and wood affords the resident dog walker’s respite from the sun if nothing else ! Love it or hate it, it certainly demands a response.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The spectacular structure – designed and engineered in collaboration with Arup – is anchored by four massive steel columns and is comprised of large timber planks and a complex network of overlapping glass planes that create a dramatic, multi-dimensional space. Gehry and his team took inspiration for this year’s Pavilion from a fascinating variety of sources including the elaborate wooden catapults designed by Leonardo da Vinci as well as the striped walls of summer beach huts. Part-amphitheatre, part-promenade, these seemingly random elements make a transformative place for reflection and relaxation by day, and discussion and performance by night.

The Serpentine Gallery Pavilion series, now entering its ninth year, is the world’s first and most ambitious architectural programme of its kind, and is one of the most anticipated events in the international design calendar.

Frank Gehry said: ‘The Pavilion is designed as a wooden timber structure that acts as an urban street running from the park to the existing Gallery. Inside the Pavilion, glass canopies are hung from the wooden structure to protect the interior from wind and rain and provide for shade during sunny days. The Pavilion is much like an amphitheatre, designed to serve as a place for live events, music, performance, discussion and debate. As the visitor walks through the Pavilion they have access to terraced seating on both sides of the urban street. In addition to the terraced seating there are two elevated seating pods, which are accessed around the perimeter of the Pavilion. These pods serve as visual markers enclosing the street and can be used as stages, private viewing platforms and dining areas.’

Julia Peyton-Jones, Director, and Hans Ulrich Obrist, Co-Director said: 
‘It is an exciting moment for London. Frank Gehry’s visionary Pavilion is remarkable and will be a landmark for the city this summer.’

 

Arup 

Arup has worked on many of the Pavilions commissioned by Julia Peyton-Jones. Arup collaborated with Gehry Partners LLP to help evaluate the design strategies, choice of materials and structural typology of the 2008 Pavilion. Arup is also providing the engineering and specialist design on the project. The Arup team includes David Glover, and Ed Clark with Cecil Balmond.

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