The Serpentine Pavilion 2010, is located in London, United Kingdom Designed by Jean Nouvel. Today saw the grand opening of the 10th annual Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, designed by world-renowned French architect Jean Nouvel – his first completed building in the UK. The Pavilion commission has become an international site for architectural experimentation and follows a long tradition of pavilions by some of the world’s greatest architects. The immediacy of the commission – a maximum of six months from invitation to completion – provides a unique model worldwide.
A tall and sturdy figure, Jean Nouvel appeared in his slick black suit and sunglasses to stroll about and welcome everybody, but also seemed keen on inspecting his structure. Pulling on this, tugging at that, he appeared to be checking everything’s in order. The design for the 2010 Pavilion is a contrast of lightweight materials and dramatic metal cantilevered structures. The entire design is rendered in a vivid red that, in a play of opposites, contrasts with the green of its park setting. The colour reflects the iconic British images of traditional telephone boxes, post boxes and London buses.
Everything inside is in red, from the red Smeg fridges behind the bar, to the Frisbees haphazardly strewn across the grass. One finds various objects scattered around, almost pieces of art in their own right, such as smooth spongy mattresses, foam chairs and bar stools with cycling pedals as foot rests, ping pong tables and chess boards; all of which are available for the public to play with throughout the summer months. This is Nouvel’s playful approach to the pavilion, making it a place to relax and enjoy the outdoors, be it picnicking, a game of draughts or lying reading blissfully in the shade.
The building consists of bold geometric forms, large retractable awnings and a freestanding wall that climbs 12m above the lawn, sloping at a gravity defying angle. Striking glass, polycarbonate and fabric structures create a versatile system of interior and exterior spaces.