Summer at the Serpentine Pavilion

11 July 2016

Summer at the Serpentine Pavilion by Laura Lewis
I’m in London a fair bit – mainly for work, so on the rare occasion that I’m visiting the city for fun I try and do something a little different. 

The other week, I had some time to kill before heading to meet a friend. As the sun was shining, and I had my trainers with me I decided to walk through Hyde Park via the Serpentine. 
Summer at the Serpentine Pavilion by Laura Lewis
Each Summer they have an architecture installation within the park. For 2016 they decided to commission four architects to each design a Summer House. The four Summer Houses are inspired by the nearby Queen Caroline’s Temple, a classical style summer house, built in 1734 and a stone’s throw from the Serpentine Gallery.

Yona Friedman’s Summer House (above) reminded me of a huge climbing frame. My inner child was very tempted to start climbing, but I thought it would be best if I didn't. It takes the form of a modular structure that can be assembled and disassembled in different formations.
Summer at the Serpentine Pavilion by Laura Lewis
Barkow Leibinger were inspired by another, now extinct, 18th Century pavilion also designed by William Kent, which rotated and offered 360 degree views of the Park.

The Summer House is constructed from plywood and timber, materials intrinsically in harmony with the looping geometry of the structure.
The Serpentine Pavilion, designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), is an ‘unzipped wall’ that is transformed from straight line to three-dimensional space, creating a dramatic structure that by day houses a cafĂ© and free family activities and by night becomes a space for the Serpentine’s acclaimed Park Nights programme of performative works by artists, writers and musicians.
If you find yourself in the area, go and check them out. Heck, even grab a picnic and make an afternoon of it. 

The Pavilion is open daily from 10am to 6pm, with all installations hanging around until early October.

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