Less a statement by the designer and more an experience for park visitors than in recent years, this summer’s Serpentine Gallery Pavilion by Swiss architect Peter Zumthor opens to the public tomorrow.
Says Zumthor, it “aims to help its audience take the time to relax, to observe and then, perhaps, start to talk again – maybe not”. The hope of providing a space for folk to take it easy and possibly even chat to one another is realised through the help of an interior “garden within a garden” created by Dutch designer Piet Oudolf (of New York’s High Line Park fame).
A plain and inauspicious structure from the outside (though a lot more pleasing to the eye than the original conceptual image suggested), the pavilion offers a flower filled hortus conclusus (contemplative room) reached through a simple maze along with the opportunity for visitors to marvel at how his structure plays with light and shadow … at least on sunny days anyway.
The Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2011 is located at the Serpentine Gallery in Kensington Gardens and opens tomorrow, 1 July until 16 October 2011. Admission is free.