Frank Gehry, Rem Koolhaas, Oscar Niemeyer, Daniel Libeskind, Zaha Hadid: Architecture’s best have all tackled the summer design challenge of building a temporary pavilion for London's Serpentine Gallery.
2013: Sou Fujimoto
Called a “cloud of steel,” Fujimoto’s gorgeous grid, assembled from 28 kilometers of white poles, is almost translucent. The barely visible roof, built from clear polycarbonate discs, ruffled in the breeze.
Photograph © 2013 Jim Stephenson
2012: Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei
A curious retrospective, this subterranean design dug beneath the site’s lawn to explore the history of previous Pavilions. A cork-clad interior, ringed with a dozen different column (one for each previous design), was created with sustainability in mind, with materials and color reflecting the excavated earth.
Photograph © 2012 Iwan Baan
2011: Peter Zumthor
Wrapped in stark, black wood, Swiss architect Peter Zumthor’s Serpentine scheme presented a frame for Piet Oudolf’s lush garden, a use of color and space that manages to create a secret garden in an already outdoor space.
Photograph © 2011 Walter Herfst
2010: Jean Nouvel
The French’s architect’s non-so-subtle contribution to Serpentine featuring striking, cantilevered walls of red steel, and one of the more colorful table tennis tables we’ve seen in awhile. He told The Guardian it was inspired by the moment “when the summer sun catches you full in the eyes and, as you blink, the world dissolves into red."
Photograph © 2010 Philippe Ruault
2009: Kazuyo Sejima & Ryue Nishizawa of SANAA
An abstract steel sunshade, which floats like smoke amidst the trees, was the focus of the Japanese architect’s 2009 design, support on slight columns like a parasol on a warm spring day.
Photograph © 2009 Edmund Sumner/VIEW
2008: Frank Gehry
Inspired by da Vinci’s drawings of wooden catapults as well as seaside huts, Gehry’s vision for the Pavilion, his first built structure in England, was another signature, angular construction, a gorgeous glass-and-timber fractal floating above the ground.
Photograph © 2008 Nick Rochowski
2007: Olafur Eliasson and Kjetil Thorsen
Resembling a top or a space-age slide projector, the Scandinavian duo’s design was ringed with a ramp lined in twisting white suppots, which looked outwards towards the park, and inwards to a sloping pavilion with custom upholstery and inflatable furniture.
Photograph © 2007 John Offenbach
2006: Rem Koolhaas and Cecil Balmond, with Arup
This massive, egg-shaped orb, like a blimp about to achieve flight, lit up Kensington Park during the summer of 2006, with a roof that literally floated free of the main structure. The structure played host to an array of event and live broadcasts, including a day-long discussion featuring Koolhaas dishing with leading designers, philosophers and filmmakers about the hidden levels of London.
Photograph © 2006 John Offenbach
2005: Alvaro Siza and Eduardo Souto de Moura with Cecil Balmond – Arup
Siza’s scheme, an array of timber joints and solar panels, created a breezy space to relax in the park during the summer, which generated enough power to become a beacon of light in the evening. Appearing as a simple grid pattern from outside, the structure becomes a striking, curved space inside.
Photograph © 2005 James Winspear
2003: Oscar Niemeyer
Niemeyer’s steel, aluminum and concrete contribution, a low-slung white roof introduced with a ruby-red ramp, showcased the Brazilian legend’s contrasting design and love of curves, and included a series of his own wall drawings inside. Partially submerged, the building seems to float on its base.
Photograph © 2003 Sylvain Deleu
2002: Toyo Ito and Cecil Balmond, with Arup
A mathematical equation rendered in space, this intriguing white cube, and the maze of open space, razor-sharp lines and polygons, was devised from the algorithms of a cube.
Photograph © 2002 Sylvain Deleu
2001: Daniel Libeskind with Arup
Libeskind’s aluminum origami, entitled 18 Turns, was engaging, a jointed metal sculpture that viewers wanted to pick up and twist
Photograph © 2001 Sylvain Deleu
2000: Zaha Hadid
Hadid’s design, the inaugural Pavilion piece, played with materials and meaning, brining an airy white tent made out of steel to the park.
Photograph © 2000 Helene Binet