Smiljan Radic’s 2014 Serpentine Pavilion

These are images of one of the most exciting projects proposed for the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion. Smiljan Radic will be the 14th architect to design a temporary structure in London’s Hyde Park this summer. Occupying around 350 square-metres, the Chilean architect has envisaged a rather intriguing flexible, semi-translucent, cylindrical structure that has been designed to resemble a shell, resting on large quarry stones. The concept has its roots in Radic’s earlier work, particularly The Castle of the Selfish Giant, inspired by the Oscar Wilde story, and the Restaurant Mestizo.

The temporary Serpentine Pavilion is part of the history of small romantic constructions seen in parks or large gardens, popular from the end of the 16th to the start of the 19th century, notes Radic.

‘Externally, the visitor will see a fragile shell suspended on large quarry stones. This shell – white, translucent and made of fibreglass – will house an interior organised around an empty patio, from where the natural setting will appear lower, giving the sensation that the entire volume is floating,’ he says. ‘At night, thanks to the semi-transparency of the shell, the amber tinted light will attract the attention of passers-by, like lamps attracting moths.’

Much like the previous Serpentine Pavilions, it will be a social space designed to entice visitors to enter and interact during its four-month tenure in the park. On selected Friday nights, between July and September, it will also stage for the Serpentine’s Park Nights series – eight site-specific events bring together art, poetry, music, film, literature and theory and include three new commissions by emerging artists Lina Lapelyte, Hannah Perry and Heather Phillipson.

Smiljan Radic’s design follows Sou Fujimoto’s cloud-like structure, which was visited by almost 200,000 people in 2013 and was one of the most visited Pavilions to date.

Read about the previous Serpentine Gallery Pavilions here.

Nargess Shahmanesh Banks

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