BIG’s Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2016 in Hyde Park, London

BIG Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2016 London

Unzipped Wall for London 2016 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion by BIG

Bjarke Ingels Group / BIG’s design of the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion in Hyde Park, London

For the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2016, BIG has attempted to design a structure of Unzipped Wall that embodies a number of elements which can be often perceived as opposites: a structure that’s free-form yet rigorous, modular yet sculptural, both transparent and opaque, both box and blob.

See the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion Images slideshow:

BIG used one of the most basic components of architecture: the brick wall. Rather than clay bricks or stone blocks – the wall is erected from extruded fiberglass frames stacked on top of each other. The wall is pulled apart to form a cavity within it, to deal with the occasions of the Pavilion’s program. The unzipping of the wall turns the line right into a surface, transforming the wall into space. A complex three-dimensional atmosphere is created that may be explored and experienced in a variety of methods: inside and outside. At the top, the wall seems like a straight line, while the bottom of it forms a sheltered valley at the entrance of the Serpentine Pavilion and an undulating hillside towards the park.

The unzipped wall creates a cave-like canyon lit through the fiberglass frames and the gaps between the shifted boxes in addition to through the translucent resin of the fiberglass. Because of this, the shifting overlaps, in addition to the movement and presence of people outside, create a lively play of sunshine and shadow on the cave walls within.

The materials include wood floors and extruded Lay Light by Fiberline profiles, offering each surface with a warm glow and linear texture – from the mesh of woven glass fibers to the undulating lines of the grain of the wood.

This easy manipulation of the archetypical space-defining garden wall creates a presence within the Park that changes as you move round it and thru it. The North-South elevation of the Serpentine Pavilion is an ideal rectangle. The East-West elevation is an undulating sculptural silhouette. Towards the East-West, the Pavilion is totally opaque and material. Towards the North-South, it’s completely transparent and practically immaterial. As a result, presence turns into an absence, orthogonal becomes curvilinear, the construction becomes gesture and box turn into blob.

Project Info:

Project: Serpentine Pavilion
Year: 2016
Type: Commission
Client: Serpentine Galleries
Collaborators: Akt Ii, Big Ideas, Dinesen Gulve, Fiberline Composites A/S, Sapa Extrusions Denmark A/S,
Size 300 M2
Location London, United Kingdom
Status Completed
Partners-in-Charge: Bjarke Ingels, Thomas Christoffersen
Project Leader: Maria Sole Bravo
Team:  Aaron Powers, Alice Cladet, Claire Thomas, Daniel Sundlin, Jakob Lange, Kai-Uwe Bergmann, Kristian Hindsberg, Kristoffer Negendahl, Lorenz Krisai, Maria Holst, Maxwell Moriyama, Rune Hansen, Tianze Li, Tore Banke, Wells Barber