This month we can definitely say that summer has finally landed to London, and the arrival of the Serpentine Pavilion 2018 is a confirmation of this.
With a subtle battle between light, water and geometry, this static courtyard draws on both the domestic architecture of Mexico and British materials and history.
Escobedo was born in Mexico City in 1979 and is the youngest architect to date that accepts the invitation to design a temporary Pavilion on the Serpentine Gallery. Also, she is the first solo woman to take on the project since the inaugural commission by Zaha Hadid, in 2000.
Escobedo’s Pavilion takes the form of a courtyard enclosed by dark latticed walls, made from cement tiles. It is intended as a play on the ‘celosia’ – a typical feature in Mexican architecture that allows the breeze to permeate a building, and the internal courtyards which are a common feature of Mexican architecture.
The structure comprises two rectangular volumes positioned at an angle. While the outer walls are aligned with the Serpentine Gallery’s eastern façade, the internal courtyard pivots directly to the north to reference the Prime Meridian – a line of longitude at London’s Royal Observatory in Greenwich.
“The design for the Serpentine Pavilion 2018 is a meeting of material and historical inspirations inseparable from the city of London itself and an idea which has been central to our practice from the beginning: the expression of time in architecture through inventive use of everyday materials and simple forms.” said Frida Escobedo on the presentation.
“For the Serpentine Pavilion 2018, we have added the materials of light and shadow, reflection and refraction, having a piece that shows the passage of the day.”
Two reflecting elements will emphasize the movement of light and shadow inside the Pavilion over the course of the day: the curved mirror under the canopy, and the triangular pool cast into the Pavilion floor.
“With this bold interior, Frida draws history into the present and redefines the meaning of public space,” said Serpentine Galleries director Hans Ulrich Obrist and chief executive Yana Peel.
Photographies by Iwaan Baan.