Around this time every year, it’s exciting to see what a selected artist or architect creates as the new, temporary Serpentine Gallery Pavilion. Located in London’s Kensington Garden, the structure this year was made by Danish architect Bjarke Ingels who created an unzipped wall of bricks. Using 1,802 hollow rectangular fibreglass blocks, the 41-year-old stacked each piece on top of each other until it became a 46-foot high futuristic structure. It is “a wall that becomes a hall,” says Ingels, “a gate that becomes a space” – and a shelving system that becomes a pavilion. “Why have one,” he asks, “when you can have both?”
“By taking something as conventional as a wall or a giant shelf and pulling it apart to make new spaces, you’re actually creating something extraordinary out of the ordinary,” said the BIG Architects founder.
“I think that’s, at its core, what architecture is: It’s creating poetry out of the practical; it’s taking all of those quotidian elements and putting them together in a way that becomes an adventure.”
He adds, “[The pavilion] is a wall that becomes a hole; something that’s opaque that becomes transparent; something that’s curvilinear that becomes octagonal; something that is a sculptural shape that also becomes a grid or a matrix,” he said.
“It definitely has something Minecraft-esque, for sure.” The architect references the popular world-building computer game.
This is the 16th structure commissioned by the gallery as part of its summer series. The first was designed in 2000 by the late Zaha Hadid and others who have created their own version include Ai Weiwei, Oscar Niemeyer, Herzog & de Meuron and Sou Fujimoto. Visitors can come see Ingels’ pavilion from June 10 to October 9. This year, you can also view four smaller summer houses by architects Asif Khan, Yona Friednman, Barkow Leibinger and Kunlé Adeyemi. If you can’t visit London anytime soon, you may be able to see it in Asia or North America. Because of the way it’s built, it can be recreated. Talk about a selfie spot!