Each year London’s Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, locked in the heart of Kensinginton Gardens, is transformed in unexpected ways by legendary names in the field of architecture. This year, the space was taken over by Danish architect Bjarke Ingels, of the design firm BIG, who combined simple minimalism with an air of whimsical fancy. His undulating tower of fiberglass boxes has a transience in both form and function, serving as an art pavilion, lecture space, music venue and more for eager crowds of visitors.
The piece is composed of 1,802 hollow blocks stacked 46 feet high and held together with aluminum struts. Seemingly simple, the installation aims to function in a multitude of ways, appearing as a wall from some angles only to morph into a futuristic hallway in three-dimensional space from others. Light streams through the structure, creating rippling patterns throughout the interior, and visitors are invited to climb the piece which acts as shelter, furniture, and art. “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,” explains Ingels. “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.”
This adventurous piece marks the 16th inspired work to occupy the Pavilion since the gallery series first began; other big-name contributors over the years include Zaha Hadid, Frank Gehry, Alvaro Siza, and Peter Zumthor. Ingels' curvaceous piece seems to be both incredibly versatile and aesthetically pleasing, fulfilling the requirements that mark a stand-apart architectural innovation. Visitors will be able to explore his work from June 10 to October 9; however, if you don’t get the opportunity to travel out to London to see the pavilion in person, the company Archilogic has created a virtual version which you can tour online.
Images via Iwan Baan.