The Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2008 will give London the first example of Frank Gehrys spectacular architecture. The highly articulated structure designed and engineered in collaboration with Arup comprises large timber planks and multiple glass planes that soar and swoop at different angles to create a dramatic multi-dimensional space. Part-amphitheatre, part-promenade, these seemingly random elements will 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 worlds 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 five 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 of Exhibitions and Programmes and Director of International Projects, Serpentine Gallery, said: «Frank Gehry has designed an extraordinary Pavilion that opens up unexpected vistas to the Gallery, and the Park. It is a visionary scheme.»
The Pavilion will be the architects first built structure in England. It is also the first time he has collaborated with his son Samuel Gehry.
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, Ed Clark with Cecil Balmond.
Since 2001, Peter Rogers, Director of Stanhope, has donated his expertise to all aspects of the Serpentine Gallery Pavilions and he continues to play a major role.
The Pavilion is a fully accessible public space in the Royal Park of Kensington Gardens, attracting up to 250,000 visitors every Summer and is accompanied by an ambitious programme of public talks and events.
Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2008:
Advisors: Arup, Stanhope
Project Management: Savant