The 19th annual Serpentine Pavilion is now open.
Last year, the biggest arrival in Hyde Park wasn’t British Summer Time or Winter Wonderland – it was a massive, colourful pyramid of barrels, floating on the Serpentine. Sadly, the ‘mastaba’ floated off into the sunset at the end of last summer (as mastabas are wont to do, apparently), so we’ll have to make do with the new arrival: 2019’s Serpentine Pavilion, which is open from today.
Designed by Japanese architect Junya Ishigama, the new pavilion is a dark, moody beast that perfectly encapsulates the British weather/prevailing mood of the nation. 61 tonnes of Cumbrian slate sit atop 106 slender columns, in a trademark expression of Ishigama’s desire to push architecture to the edge of possibility.
Personally, I can’t help but think it’s the perfect place to shelter from a rainstorm, which you know is going to happen this summer – despite the promising outlook for next week. It didn’t exactly go fully to plan, either; some less-than-stylish dividing walls had to be installed to prevent the wind blowing stuff away, as the Guardian notes.
Although it can’t quite match the new Dulwich Pavilion for eye-popping colour, the Serpentine Pavilion is nonetheless a sleek, unusual space to wander round – and it’s already picking up attention on Instagram. You’ll find events taking place beneath the slate, too: the pavilion will host the Serpentine’s summer party, along with community events, until closing on October 6th. Go check it out!
Featured image: @archdaily
Also published on Medium.