Zumthor′s Secret Garden: First Look at 2011 Serpentine Pavilion

Peter & Piet: Landscape architect Piet Oudolf will collaborate with Peter Zumthor on the 2011 Serpentine Pavilion (Courtesy Serpentine Gallery).

Today the Serpentine Gallery released the first renderings of Swiss architect Peter Zumthor‘s plans for its annual 2011 pavilion. Zumthor has recruited Piet Oudolf, the Dutch landscape designer who helped transform the High Line in New York, to work with him on the concept of a “hortus conclusus” (in case you skipped Latin class, that’s a secret garden within a garden).

Oudolf’s garden will form the heart of an atrium-style building constructed of a “lightweight timber frame wrapped with scrim and coated with a black paste mixed with sand” that is intended to be a cloistered retreat removed from the noise and smells of London’s urban environment, according to a press statement.

Visitors will process through doorways staggered along exterior and interior walls, moving from the dark, shadowy space into the bright, flower-filled landscape.”This experience will be intense and memorable, as will the materials themselves–full of memory and time,” said Zumthor.

The pavilion will be the first building by Zumthor, 2009 winner of the Pritzker Prize, to be completed in the UK and will only be open to the public from July through October. Sure to be a summertime attraction, rather than a serene garden visitors might find a not-so-secret hortus populus.

Zumthor's concept is intended to emphasize the "sensory and spiritual."

Related Stories