Serpentine Pavillion 2015

002Image courtesy of Selgas Cano

Serpentine Pavillion 2015

Over the past 15 years the Serpentine Pavilion has become an international site for architectural experimentation, presenting inspirational temporary structures by some of the world’s greatest architects.

serpentine pavillion

A much-anticipated landmark in London each summer, the Pavilion is one of the top-ten most visited architectural and design exhibitions in the world. Spanish architects selgascano are designing the 15th Serpentine Pavilion. The award-winning studio, headed by José Selgas and Lucía Cano, is the first Spanish architecture practice to be asked to design the temporary Pavilion on the Serpentine’s lawn in London’s Kensington Gardens.

serpentine pavillionImage courtesy of Selgas Cano

 In keeping with the criteria of the scheme, this will be the studio’s first new structure in the UK. The design render shows an amorphous, double-skinned, polygonal structure consisting of panels of a translucent, multi-coloured fluorine-based polymer (ETFE) woven through and wrapped like webbing. Visitors will be able to enter and exit the Pavilion at a number of different points, passing through a “secret corridor” between the outer and inner layer of the structure and into the Pavilion’s brilliant, stained glass-effect interior.

serpentine pavillion The Factory Mérida project in Badajoz, Spain. Image courtesy of Iwan Baan

 As with previous Pavilion commissions, the brief is to design a flexible, multi-purpose social space with a café that is open to all throughout the summer. Previous selgascano projects include the amorphous Plasencia Auditorium and Congress Centre, Cáceres; the light filled harbour-side structure of El ‘B’, Cartagena Auditorium and Congress Centre; the playful floating shapes of Mérida Factory Youth Movement. selgascano’s work is characterised by a use of synthetic materials and new technologies, often rarely applied to architecture.

serpentine pavillion Plasencia Auditorium and Congress Centre in Cáseres, Spain. Image courtesy of Hisao Suzuki

Taking inspiration from Luis Barragan and Richard Rogers, the architects use distinctive colours and references to nature throughout their designs. Their belief that architecture is secondary to nature also informs the design course on Nature and Climatology that they teach at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and their work on the Educational and Medical Pavilion in Turkana, Kenya.


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