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Scene In London
David Chipperfield's glass pavilion for the London Design Festival is on view through October 16.
David Chipperfield's installation for Size + Matter.
Susan Smart

Since its transformative refurbishment in 2007, the Southbank Centre has thrived as a stage for design and installations. This year it is the site of Chipperfield's sober, and sometimes pallid, composition of glass planes, Two Lines. Commissioned for Size + Matter, a staple of the annual London Design Festival that marries architects with a specific manufacturing process or material, Chipperfield's sculptural, planar arrangement resembles a minimalist Stonehenge, or for some onlookers an exploded bus shelter. Using SEFAR Architecture's Vision fabric, Chipperfield has juxtaposed two identical forms, one with a copper finish and the other aluminum. Each consists of a series of unframed, glass panels sandwiching Vision fabric, a metal-coated fabric mesh, black on one side and metallic on the other, with corresponding colored steel connections. The pavilion can appear both opaque and translucent with reflective qualities, changing with light and shade as it surrounds visitors. In one way, the installation is a distillation of the architect's overall vision, but, in another it is just a bit of fun, as Chipperfield noted in a recent interview: “It's bunting. There's festival going on, and we are decorating it.” On view through October 16.

Gwen Webber