SelgasCano’s Psychedelic Serpentine Pavilion Opens at the La Brea Tar Pits
View Photos

SelgasCano’s Psychedelic Serpentine Pavilion Opens at the La Brea Tar Pits

Add to
Like
Share
By Lucy Wang
The vibrant pavilion travels to the U.S. for the first time—and it just opened to the public at an Ice Age excavation site in Los Angeles.

As a #LoveLetterToLA, British workplace business Second Home has brought SelgasCano's delightfully trippy Serpentine Pavilion to the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles. The temporary installation traveled from Europe to the U.S. to celebrate the September opening of Second Home’s first U.S. branch, Second Home Hollywood.

The Second Home Pavilion is located on a grassy ellipse next to the La Brea Tar Pits—the only urban, consistently active Ice Age excavation site in the world.

The Second Home Pavilion is located on a grassy ellipse next to the La Brea Tar Pits—the only urban, consistently active Ice Age excavation site in the world.

Newsletter
Join the Daily Dose Newsletter

Get carefully curated content filled with inspiring homes from around the world, innovative new products, and the best in modern design

Rechristened the Second Home Pavilion after its owners, the immersive, chrysalis-like structure was originally created by the Madrid–based architecture firm as the 15th Serpentine Gallery Pavilion in London in 2015.

The sinuous structure derives its organic shape from nature, yet it's primarily composed of an artificial material—Ethylene Tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE), a lightweight, industrial-strength construction plastic that’s often used as a safer and more adaptable alternative to glass. SelgasCano wrapped an arched steel frame with multicolored layers of ETFE to create a translucent, rainbow-bright structure that changes color and appearance throughout the day.

The pavilion is composed of 19 different colors. The steel frame, painted matte white, is bolted to a thin concrete slab foundation.

The pavilion is composed of 19 different colors. The steel frame, painted matte white, is bolted to a thin concrete slab foundation.

"We sought a way to allow the public to experience architecture through simple elements: structure, light, transparency, shadows, lightness, form, sensitivity, change, surprise, color, and materials," explains SelgasCano. "The spatial qualities of the pavilion only unfold when accessing the structure and being immersed within it."

The pavilion is an Instagram-worthy playground of color and light. The organizers encourage visitors to use the hashtag<span> <a href="/discover/LoveLetterToLA">#LoveLetterToLA</a></span> to receive a discount on general admission to the museum.

The pavilion is an Instagram-worthy playground of color and light. The organizers encourage visitors to use the hashtag #LoveLetterToLA to receive a discount on general admission to the museum.

Now open to the public for free, the 866-square-foot Second Home Pavilion invites visitors to explore its surreal spatial qualities by entering one of its three entrances. They will then pass through a "secret corridor" in the double-skin facade to reach a bright, stained glass-like interior. The kaleidoscope of shapes, light, colors, and materials are symbolic of Los Angeles’ diversity, says Second Home Co-Founder Sam Aldenton.

Strips of ETFE add textural contrast to the ETFE panels, which vary in opacity and transparency.

Strips of ETFE add textural contrast to the ETFE panels, which vary in opacity and transparency.

"At Second Home, we really believe that diversity makes creativity stronger, which is why we’re so thrilled to be collaborating with Lori and the Natural History Museums to bring this beautiful structure to Los Angeles," adds Rohan Silva, Co-Founder of Second Home. "The Pavilion will be a space for diverse communities and ideas to come together, and we can’t wait to welcome everyone in."

The pavilion precedes the opening of Second Home Hollywood, also designed by SelgasCano, which will open later this year.

The pavilion precedes the opening of Second Home Hollywood, also designed by SelgasCano, which will open later this year.

The Second Home Pavilion will be complemented with public programming and events—all free and open to the public—during the five-month installation. Confirmed partners and speakers include Universal Music, Netflix, World Wildlife Fund, David Lynch, and more. A full schedule will be announced soon.

A large, open space occupies the center of the pavilion and can be used to host various events.

A large, open space occupies the center of the pavilion and can be used to host various events.

Special celebrations are also expected to take place in September 2019 for the official opening of Second Home Hollywood, a new 90,000-square-foot co-working campus that’s also been designed by SelgasCano. It will feature bold architectural forms, unconventional materials, and an abundance of nature.

Located in East Hollywood on the historic site of the Anne Banning Community House, Second Home Hollywood will host up to 250 diverse organizations—in addition to a branch of Second Home’s renowned book shop Libreria, a 200-seat auditorium, a recording studio, a restaurant, and outdoor garden terraces.

The pavilion can be deconstructed and reconstructed easily, and it's engineered to ensure that rainwater will not collect on any surfaces.

The pavilion can be deconstructed and reconstructed easily, and it's engineered to ensure that rainwater will not collect on any surfaces.

The Second Home Pavilion is open to the public for free from June 28 to November 24, 2019. Timed express entry can be reserved online at pavilion.secondhome.io

Related Reading: Junya Ishigami's Serpentine Pavilion Descends Upon London Like a Giant Black Bird, Years of Serpentine Gallery Pavilions