London – Inspired by the iconic Proun series by Russian Avant-Garde maestro El Lissitzky, the Serpentine Pavilion 2018 by Mexico city-based architect Frida Escobedo invites visitors to explore a space composed of two rectangular volumes positioned at an angle blending features of Mexican domestic architecture with British materials and history, specifically, the Prime Meridian line at London’s Royal Observatory in Greenwich.
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“[The 2018 Serpentine Pavilion] is a meeting of material and historical inspirations inseparable for the city of London itself.” Explains Frida Escobedo. “We have added the materials of light and shadow, reflection and refraction, turning the building into a time piece that charts the passage of the day”.
The building’s pivoted axis refers to the the Prime Meridian, which was established in 1851 at Greenwich and later became the global standard marker of time and geographical distance. A traditional breeze wall common to Mexican architecture creates an enclosed courtyard aligned with the North.
British made materials compose dark-colored textured surfaces while a lattice of cement roof tiles diffuses the view into the park transforming the pavilion into a vibrant blur of greens and blues. “This pattern allows different degrees of transparency depending on wether the light is hitting it on the front or in the back, so it becomes more translucent or opaque as the day comes through.”
The curved underside of the canopy is clad with mirrored panels; a triangular pool cast into the structure’s floor traces its boundary directly beneath the edge of the roof. As the sun moves across the sky is refracted by these features so that visitors feel a heightened awareness of time spent in play, improvisation and contemplation over the summer months.
The Serpentine Pavilion 2018 will be opened to the public until the 7th of October. The pioneering commission began in 2.000 with Zaha Hadid and has involved some of the biggest names in international architecture such as BIG, Sou Fujimoto, Oscar Niemeyer, Frank Gehry and Selgas Cano and more.
All photos by Iwan Baan – courtesy of the Serpentine Galleries. Above: video by the Serpentine Galleries – Below: Escobedo’s interview by ArchiDaily.