Serpentine Pavilion & Summer Houses 2016


The Serpentine is delighted to present this new catalogue on the occasion of the 2016 Serpentine Architecture Programme: the Serpentine Pavilion designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and four Summer Houses designed by Kunlé Adeyemi (NLÉ), Barkow Leibinger, Yona Friedman and Asif Khan.

The design of BIG’s Pavilion returns to one of the most basic elements of architecture: the brick wall. A curvaceous, ‘unzipped’ line and soaring spire constructed from pultruded fibreglass frames stacked on top of each other, the Pavilion shifts from a straight line to a three-dimensional space.

The four Summer Houses are inspired by the nearby Queen Caroline’s Temple, a classical style Summer House designed by landscape architect William Kent (1685-1748), built in 1734-5 and a stone’s throw from the Serpentine Gallery. Kunlé Adeyemi’s Summer House is an inverse replica of Queen Caroline’s Temple – a tribute to its robust form, space and material, recomposed into a new architectural language. 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. Yona Friedman’s Summer House takes the form of a modular structure that can be assembled and disassembled in different formations and builds upon the architect’s pioneering project La Ville Spatiale (Spatial City) begun in the late 1950s. For his Summer House, Asif Khan took inspiration from the way in which Queen Caroline’s Temple is positioned in the direction of the rising sun on 1st March 1683, Queen Caroline’s birthday, to catch the reflecting sunlight from the then newly created Serpentine Lake.

The catalogue features a series of written contributions to each of the commissioned structures: Vladimir Belogolovsky on Yona Friedman, Beatrice Galilee on Bjarke Ingels Group, Joseph Grima on Kunlé Adeyemi (NLÉ), Brett Steele on Barkow Leibinger and Ashley Schafer on Asif Khan. The publication also includes a dedicated section on the history of The Royal Parks, the Serpentine Galleries and the Pavilion Commission, with texts by Brian Dillon and Vicky Richardson. In addition, this book charts the design process and production of the Pavilion and Summer Houses through models, sketches and photographs.