The Serpentine Pavilion Goes Meta

This Pavilion will surely be a memorable one the design looks fantastic. As usual Ai and his swiss amigos have pushed the meanings of architecture and design to its limits

The Antefix

Each year, London’s Serpentine Gallery commissions a pavilion—an awkward or aloof sibling for the Serpentine itself—by an architect who has never before built in Britain. The year of the Olympiad is an exception, of course; all three of the new pavilion’s designers have previously worked in the UK, and to great fanfare. Swiss starchitects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, masterminds of the Tate Modern gallery, are teaming up with the ubiquitous Ai Weiwei, their collaborator on the national stadium in Beijing, to produce a structure that burrows beneath Kensington Gardens for a better view of pavilions past.

The meta-pavilion, chest-height for those standing on the Serpentine lawn, will be topped by a watery “floating platform roof” strangely sensitive to the classical character of the site’s original pavilion, built in in 1934. The roof-cum-reflecting pool will mirror the sky above and the water table below, but more interestingly, almost in defiance of a…

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