Serpentine Pavillion 2014, Hyde Park, London

Smiljan Radić
Date Built
Beside the Serpentine Pavillion in Hyde Park
The Serpentine Gallery describes the 2014 Pavillion, by the Chilean architect, Smiljan Radić, as, "...A semi-translucent, cylindrical structure that resembled a shell and rested on large quarry stones, (it) occupied 350 square metres of the Serpentine’s lawn and was home to and inspiration for the Park Nights series of events. ... Radić's design for a temporary Pavilion has its roots in the architect’s earlier work, particularly The Castle of the Selfish Giant, inspired by the Oscar Wilde story and the Restaurant Mestizo - part of which is supported by large boulders."

... From the outside, visitors see a fragile shell in the shape of a hoop suspended on large quarry stones. Appearing as if they had always been part of the landscape, these stones are used as supports, giving the pavilion both a physical weight and an outer structure characterised by lightness and fragility. ....

... The shell, which is white, translucent and made of fibreglass, contains an interior that is organised around an empty patio at ground level, creating the sensation that the entire volume is floating. The simultaneously enclosed and open volumes of the structure explore the relationship between the surrounding Kensington Gardens and the interior of the Pavilion. The floor is grey wooden decking, as if the interior were a terrace rather than a protected interior space. ...

...  Designed as a flexible, multi-purpose social space, the Pavilion had a café sited inside. Visitors were encouraged to enter and interact with the structure in different ways throughout its four-month tenure in the Park."