Hyde Park is well-known for the calm waters of the Serpentine, swimming with swans, and surrounded by tourists and Londoners enjoying a stroll at its edges. But I believe for many (including me) the Serpentine Gallery and its exhibitions are less familiar. It got my attention when I spotted an article about the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, designed this year by Sou Fujimoto, an award winning Japanese architect.
There aren’t many exhibitions where you get to sit within the piece of art and design, so one sunny afternoon over the summer I made a quick exit out of the office and made my way down to the Serpentine and centre of Hyde Park where you’ll find the gallery. It was pretty easy to find…
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you see this? I’d describe it as a cloud sweeping across the gallery lawn. Not too far from the designer’s own description it seems:
“The delicate quality of the structure, enhanced by its semi-transparency, will create a geometric, cloud-like form, as if it were mist rising from the undulations of the park. From certain vantage points, the Pavilion will appear to merge with the classical structure of the Serpentine Gallery, with visitors suspended in space.” Sou Fujimoto (Source – Serpentine Gallery)
Step closer and you’ll see the architectural side of the design.
Grab a drink, take a seat and ponder the world and your surroundings for a while.
From afar and around the outside of the structure it does look quite amusing seeing visitors seemingly suspended within the cloud.
But then you realise it’s worth taking a high seat so you can have a good look around.
This year’s Pavilion will be up until 20 October, so if you find yourself exploring the park it’s worth making a cultural detour and taking in a little art and design. It’s open 10am to 6pm daily.
The Pavilion is an annual commission and over the last few years some intriguing structures have been built (Wallpaper have put a handy slideshow together here). I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on their event list to see if anything else comes up this year and I’ll be interested to see what arrives next year.
Have you seen this year’s Serpentine Gallery Pavilion? Have you seen any of the previous Pavilions?