Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2006

Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2006

Architect
OMA
Location
Serpentine Gallery Pavillion, London, UK | View Map
Project Year
2006
Category
Pavilions
Stories By
OMA

Balmond Studio

Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2006

OMA as Architects

The Serpentine Pavilion 2006 is co-designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Rem Koolhaas and structural designer Cecil Balmond. The centrepiece of the design is a spectacular ovoid-shaped inflatable canopy that floats above the Serpentine's lawn. Made from translucent material, the structure is illuminated from within at night. The canopy will be raised into the air or lowered to cover the amphitheatre below according to the weather.


The walled enclosure below the canopy functions both as a café and forum for daily televised and recorded public programmes including live talks and film screenings in the Time Out Park Nights at the Serpentine Gallery programme. Highlights include two 24-hour interview marathons (convened by Koolhaas and Hans Ulrich Obrist) with leading politicians, architects, philosophers, writers, artists, film-makers and economists exposing the hidden and invisible layers of London.


A major exhibition of works by the German artist, Thomas Demand, will be on show at the Serpentine during this period. Demand is developing work to be included in the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2006.


Rem Koolhaas said: "The 2006 Serpentine Pavilion will be defined by events and activities. We are proposing a space that facilitates the inclusion of individuals in communal dialogue and shared experience."


Cecil Balmond said: "These Pavilions have evolved with various structural typologies and materials, provoking a debate on architecture; this year the exploration continues not only with typology and material but with the very definition of Pavilion."


Each Summer, the Serpentine commissions an internationally acclaimed architect to design a temporary Pavilion for its lawn. The programme is unique worldwide. Conceived by Julia Peyton-Jones, Director, Serpentine Gallery, the project represents a rare opportunity for architects to create a more experimental structure in the United Kingdom, where none of those invited has ever built before. Those selected previously are Zaha Hadid, 2000, Daniel Libeskind with Arup, 2001, Toyo Ito with Arup, 2002, Oscar Niemeyer, 2003, MVRDV, 2004 (unrealised) and Álvaro Siza and Eduardo Souto de Moura with Cecil Balmond – Arup, 2005.

The concept of non-structure

Balmond Studio as Engineers

An exploration into the nature of a pavilion, Balmond’s Serpentine Pavilion collaboration with Rem Koolhaas in 2006 interrogated the concept of non-structure. This pavilion was an event, a ‘happening’ that marked the beginning of the popular Serpentine Marathons that have been held every year ever since.Named The Cosmic Egg, it was comprised of a central, cubic amphitheatre above which a large spherical balloon acted as a canopy that could be raised into the air or lowered to cover the room below according to the weather.


A work of anti-gravity architecture, no part of the pavilion held onto one another, and made from a translucent material, the structure could be illuminated to great effect at night.About this project, Balmond says, ‘These Pavilions have evolved with various structural typologies and materials, provoking debate on architecture; this year, the exploration continues not only with typology and material but with the very definition of Pavilion.’

Project Credits
OMA
Architects
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