In the heart of Hyde Park, you will find the two Serpentine Galleries which host a wide range of free exhibitions of modern art, often pretty challenging but there are also gems to enjoy. Originally there was just the main gallery but a couple of years ago, 5 minutes away across the bridge over the lake, a new gallery, the Serpentine Gallery opened.
For the past 15 years, we have been treated to a different summer pavilion each year, designed by key architects of our time who bring a unique vision to what a pavilion can be. I’ve been able to many of the widely varying designs, as I live nearby and always enjoy a stroll through the park to see what this year’s surprise will be. The pavilion has become a part of the London summer, a landmark to look forward to and be discussed and debated, compared with previous favourites and visited by locals and tourists alike.
We’ve been treated to work by Ai Wei Wei, by Frank Gehry and Zaha Hadid. This year’s pavilion comes from a Spanish design studio Selgascano and it’s the first time Spain has won the annual competition run to find the most imaginative and appropriate design. They have given us a multi-coloured structure which is part maze, part cafe, part art installation and part playground.
The material that makes the exterior of the structure is partly see through and is wrapped around a frame with openings as doors and as windows and has a tremendous sense of flow around the centre where you find the cafe. There is a passageway through 2 layers of the ‘walls’ which feels like a maze and adds another way to enter and leave. When I was there kids (and some much larger kids!) were having great fun running around, in and out, round the maze elements and taking pictures through the semi-transparent walls. The cafe in the middle was being well used and there are coffee, snacks and ice-creams to encourage visitors to linger.
This year’s pavilion will be taken down on 19th October 2015 so do try to visit if you can.
Enjoy this photo gallery:
Find out more about the galleries and the pavilion here.