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Revealed: Peter Zumthor’s design for the 11th Serpentine Gallery Pavilion - FAD Magazine

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Revealed: Peter Zumthor’s design for the 11th Serpentine Gallery Pavilion

July – October 2011
The Serpentine Gallery has revealed the plans for the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2011 by world-renowned Swiss architect Peter Zumthor.

This year’s Pavilion is the 11th commission in the Gallery’s annual series, the world’s first and most ambitious architectural programme of its kind. It will be the architect’s first completed building in the UK and will include a specially created garden by the influential Dutch designer Piet Oudolf.

At the heart of Peter Zumthor’s Pavilion is a garden that the architect hopes will inspire visitors to become observers. Zumthor’s says his design ‘aims to help its audience take the time to relax, to observe and then, perhaps, start to talk again – maybe not.’ The design emphasises the role the senses and emotions play in our experience of architecture. With a refined selection of materials Zumthor creates contemplative spaces that evoke the spiritual dimension of our physical environment. As always, Zumthor’s aesthetic goal is to customise the building precisely to its purpose as a physical body and an object of emotional experience.

Zumthor has stated that ‘the concept for this year’s Pavilion is the hortus conclusus, a contemplative room, a garden within a garden. The building acts as a stage, a backdrop for the interior garden of flowers and light. Through blackness and shadow one enters the building from the lawn and begins the transition into the central garden, a place abstracted from the world of noise and traffic and the smells of London – an interior space within which to sit, to walk, to observe the flowers. This experience will be intense and memorable, as will the materials themselves – full of memory and time.’

Materials have always played an evocative as well as an essential role in the buildings designed by Zumthor. The 2011 Pavilion will be constructed of a lightweight timber frame wrapped with scrim and coated with a black paste mixed with sand. Exterior and interior walls with staggered doorways will offer multiple paths for visitors to follow, gently guiding them to a central, hidden inner garden. The covered walkways and seating surrounding this central space will create a serene, contemplative environment from which visitors may look onto the richly planted sunlit garden, the heart and focus of the building.

Julia Peyton-Jones, Director, and Hans Ulrich Obrist, Co-Director, Serpentine Gallery, said: “It is an honour and a great joy to be working with Peter Zumthor on the 11th Serpentine Gallery Pavilion. The commission allows us allowed to connect with best architects in the world and each year is an exciting and completely new experience. Zumthor’s plans will realise an exquisite space for the public to enjoy throughout the summer.”

www.serpentinegallery.org

Arup
Peter Zumthor will collaborate with engineering firm Arup to realise the 2011 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion. The Arup team, led by David Glover, Ed Clark and Chris Neighbour, will provide all engineering and specialist technical advice for the project. Arup Director Ed Clark commented: “It is a privilege to support the Pavilion again in 2011. This is our tenth year of commitment to the programme which reflects our belief in the project and the positive experience our teams get from working with some of the most renowned architects of our time. It’s an incredibly exciting opportunity. We look forward to working with Peter and helping him to deliver his first building in the UK.”

Stanhope
Peter Rogers, Director of Stanhope, will donate his expertise to all aspects of the Pavilion. He said: “The Serpentine Pavilion is a unique project whose innovative and challenging designs transcend normal building projects as well as fusing art and architecture in an exciting built form.”

Mace
Stephen Pycroft, Chairman and Chief Executive at Mace, said: “I am delighted that Mace is involved with the construction of the Serpentine Pavilion for a third year and look forward to working with Atelier Peter Zumthor & Partner. This is a prestigious annual project in London and is an important part of Mace’s arts and culture portfolio, playing to our strength of delivering complex projects.”

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