Frida Escobedo designs latticed courtyard for Serpentine Pavilion

Interior view (rendering) of the Serpentine Pavilion 2018 designed by Frida Escobedo, Taller de Arquitectura. — Handout via AFP
Interior view (rendering) of the Serpentine Pavilion 2018 designed by Frida Escobedo, Taller de Arquitectura. — Handout via AFP

LONDON, Feb 9 — Mexican architect Frida Escobedo has been commissioned to design this year’s Serpentine Pavilion in London, creating a courtyard-based design for the temporary structure in Kensington Gardens.

With its enclosed courtyard design, the architect’s design is said to draw on Mexican domestic architecture; it likewise takes inspiration from British materials and history, with a pivoted axis that makes reference to the Prime Meridian at Greenwich.

The pavilion will be constructed using British-made materials chosen for the dark colour and textured surfaces. A lattice of cement roof tiles will create a celosia — a breeze wall found in traditional Mexican architecture — to diffuse the view out to the park into a blur of greens and blues.

Reflective elements will emphasise the movement of light and shadow over the course of the day, the canopy’s curved underside covered in mirrored panels, while a triangular pool will be cast into the pavilion’s floor.

Escobedo, born in 1979, is the youngest architect to accept an invitation to design the pavilion. She is known for work in urban reactivation, from housing and community centres to hotels and galleries.

“For the Serpentine Pavilion, we have added the materials of light and shadow, reflection and refraction, turning the building into a timepiece that charts the passage of the day,” she says of her design.

The Serpentine Pavilion will serve as the venue for the annual Park Nights program, and practitioners of art, architecture, music, film, theory and dance will be commissioned to create site-specific works in response to Escobedo’s design.

The commission by the Serpentine Gallery began in 2000 with a structure designed by Zaha Hadid and has become a showcase for her emerging talent. Francis Kéré’s 2017 pavilion was an airy structure inspired by a tree at the heart of his Burkina Faso hometown and was visited by more than 200,000 people. — AFP-Relaxnews

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