Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei to design Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2012
It was announced today that esteemed architects Herzog & de Meuron and artist Ai Weiwei will be creating the 2012 Serpentine Summer Pavilion.
A powerhouse combination, the news is interesting given the context of Weiwei’s involvement with the Beijing Olympics, something that the press release acknowledges. As part of the London 2012 cultural programme already, the pavilion will draw upon the previous pavilions through digging underneath the Serpentine:
“On the foundations of each single Pavilion, we extrude a new structure (supports, walls) as load-bearing elements for the roof of our Pavilion – eleven supports all told, plus our own column that we can place at will, like a wild card. The roof resembles that of an archaeological site. It floats some five feet above the grass of the park, so that everyone visiting can see the water on it, its surface reflecting the infinitely varied, atmospheric skies of London. For special events, the water can be drained off the roof as from a bathtub, from whence it flows back into the waterhole, the deepest point in the Pavilion landscape. The dry roof can then be used as a dance floor or simply as a platform suspended above the park.”
It is an interesting concept architecturally and triggers thoughts of the legacy of the constructed Olympic venues in London after 2012 has come to a close.