Six months to build. Three months to enjoy. When it comes to architecture, few structures are as brief or brilliant as the Serpentine Gallery’s annual Pavilion. Designed by a different architect each summer, the Pavilion has become one of the most-visited exhibitions in the world. Now in its 15th year, the gallery passes the baton to Spanish duo SelgasCano, who have created a must-see labyrinth of colour on the Serpentine lawn.
Located in Kensington Gardens, near Hyde Park, the just-opened Serpentine Pavilion (to 18 October) sits alongside formal avenues of trees and immaculate flowerbeds, as you might expect from one of the capital’s eight Royal Parks.
Designed by architects José Selgas and Lucía Cano, this year’s Pavilion is a massive, multi-coloured ‘chrysalis’ structure, featuring a series of connected spaces that work in harmony with the natural surroundings, a hallmark of this Madrid-based team.
Inside you’ll find a central meeting area and café, with a secret corridor made possible by the complex web of layered walls. Like so many of SelgasCano’s constructions, the installation plays with shape and colour to diffuse natural light, creating an uplifting environment in which to explore, relax and enjoy live entertainment.
As with previous incarnations of the Pavilion, the installation is free to enter, with a series of special events on Friday nights, including poetry readings, live music and film screenings.
You’ll also find major exhibitions going on elsewhere around the Serpentine, including timeless oil paintings by Lynette Yiadom-Boakye in Verses After Dark (to 13 Sep).
Close by, also in the park, why not visit the award-winning Serpentine Sackler Gallery. Designed by Zaha Hadid and converted from a former gunpowder store, it opened in 2013 and is another fine collection of contemporary art exhibitions. This summer look out for key sculptures from the extraordinary 40-year career of Duane Hanson (to 13 Sep), and a fountain made of hosepipes by sculptor Bertrand Lavier (to 4 Oct).
View more London art exhibitions here.
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