Gehry’s Pavilion

Frank Gehry’s Serpentine Gallery Pavilion during construction, ©2008 Gehry Partners LLP
This year’s Serpentine Pavilion has been designed by architecture master Frank Gehry, and marks the first built structure by him in England.

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Frank Gehry’s Serpentine Gallery Pavilion during construction, ©2008 Gehry Partners LLP

This year’s Serpentine Pavilion has been designed by architecture master Frank Gehry, and marks the first built structure by him in England.

Apparently Gehry and his team (which includes Gehry’s son, Samuel, with whom he is collaborating for the first time) took inspiration from sources as varied as Leonardo da Vinci’s wooden catapults and the striped walls of summer beach huts. The resulting pavilion offers wooden platforms for visitors to loll upon and watch passers-by and feels more robust than previous Serpentine Pavilions, which is no bad thing considering the windy, rainy summer London is experiencing.

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The finished Pavilion

“The Pavilion is designed as a wooden timber structure that acts as an urban street running from the park to the existing gallery,” explains Gehry. “Inside the pavilion, glass canopies are hung from the wooden structure to protect the interior from wind and rain and provide shade during sunny days. The pavilion is much like an amphitheatre, designed to serve as a place for live events, music, performance, discussion and debate.”

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The pavilion may lack that out-and-out weirdness that usually characterises Gehry’s work, but is still well worth a visit before it is dismantled on October 19. A series of talks and events will be taking place in the space during August and September – for more info visit serpentinegallery.org.

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