Posts tagged with "Serpentine Gallery":

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Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s early sculpture highlights architecture at the street level

For its 2018 edition, BRAFA, the Belgian art and antiques fair, honored Christo and Jeanne-Claude by exhibiting an early sculpture which has characterized their work ever since. We speak to Christo about working in the public realm, the importance of architecture, and why he would never accept any donations to fund his projects. Christo and Jeanne-Claude are best known for their large-scale, temporary works of art that intervene on the built environment as well as the natural world, like the wrapping of the Reichstag in Berlin and the Pont Neuf in Paris, or more recently, the installment of floating walkways on Italy’s Lake Iseo. But it’s a far lesser-known work that the latest edition of BRAFA Art Fair celebrated earlier this month in Brussels. Three Store Fronts (1965-66), a rarely-exhibited, early sculpture 46 feet long and 8.2 feet tall, mimics the facades of a retail space, and marks an important shift in the artists’ career: from objects to environments. When the Bulgarian-born Christo met his late-wife Jeanne-Claude in Paris in 1958 (she passed away in 2009), his work mostly revolved around the wrapping of everyday objects, like cans and bottles. The couple first turned their attention to the outdoors in 1961, with the artwork Stacked Oil Barrels and Dockside Packages (also considered their first collaboration), installed at the Cologne Harbor, then again the following year, with Wall of Oil Barrels - The Iron Curtain in Paris, a response to the construction of the Berlin Wall. From 1963 until 1968, the development of their sculptural works Show Cases, Show Windows and Store Fronts, further solidified their interest in the public realm. In Show Cases, Christo collected glass displays and medical cabinets from flea markets in Paris, then hung pieces of fabric or pasted paper on the pane interiors, overturning their functions. While these works still largely revolved around an object (comparable to the early Wrapped Cans or Packages), they paved the way for the much larger, life-sized series Show Windows and Store Fronts — of which the views were, again, obstructed with fabric. Their proportions echoed the dimensions of the architecture of New York, where the couple emigrated to in 1964. “These works related to the architectural space of the street,” Christo explains of Show Windows and Store Fronts. “In some way, they were a precursor of works that we did later, like the Valley Curtains in Colorado, or the Running Fence in California.” Both of these projects were extremely ambitious in scale, and shared many similarities with a construction project, says Christo. Valley Curtains, completed in 1972 and removed after only 28 hours, due to a strong gale, featured over 200,000 square feet of woven nylon fabric orange curtain, installed across the Grand Hogback mountain range in Colorado. “We had the same people who build and suspend bridges, from suppliers to construction workers,” explains Christo, whose father ran a fabric factory. Meanwhile, Running Fence (completed in 1976) was made of over 2 million square feet of heavy woven white nylon fabric, extending over 24 miles east-west from the north of San Francisco and down to Bodega Bay. It required 18 public hearings, three sessions at the Superior Courts of California, the drafting of an extensive Environmental Impact Report and the temporary use of the hills, sky and ocean. The Store Fronts series certainly represent a milestone in the artists’ oeuvre, where the environment came to frame their artistic discourse. But for Christo, architecture always played an important role. When he studied at the Sofia Academy of Arts in the 1950s, the curriculum was heavily modeled after the German system, where students would equally study fine arts, decorative arts and architecture. “So it was natural that I was interested in architecture,” he laughs, when I ask about the architectural quality of his projects’ preparatory drawings. And it is precisely these drawings, as well as other collages and lithographs (many of which will be featured in a major exhibition at the Serpentine Galleries in London this summer), that enabled the funding of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s costly, temporary outdoor works. “I refuse any donations,” insists the outspoken, 82-year old artist, who recently cancelled a project over the Arkansas river in Colorado that was 20 years in the making and cost $15 million to date, in protest against its landlord, President Donald Trump. “I escaped from a communist country; I will not give one millimeter of my freedom for anything.” BRAFA Art Fair ran from January 27 until February 4, at Tours & Taxis, Brussels, Belgium. Christo & Jeanne-Claude. Urban Projects runs until February 25, at ING Art Centre, Brussels.
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Rare sketches and artwork from Zaha Hadid to go on display at the Serpentine Gallery in London

At the Serpentine Gallery in London, an exhibition starting this December will showcase a range of notebook drawings and other early artwork by the late Zaha Hadid. The esteemed British-Iraqi architect passed away earlier this year in March, however, the retrospective exhibition was planned before this. The gallery's artistic director, Hans Ulrich Obrist, got the idea to present Hadid's work when he attended her ceremonial RIBA lecture after her award of the Royal Gold Medal for Architecture (Hadid was also the first woman to claim the prize). During her speech, Hadid showed unseen notebooks that contained sketches that reflected her approach to architectural form-finding. “I was completely transfixed,” said Obrist, speaking in The Guardian. “I had never seen such notebooks. I wanted to see her to discuss what we could do. An exhibition? A book?” After Obrist's and Hadid's subsequent meeting on the matter, Hadid travelled to Miami where, after undergoing treatment for bronchitis, she died unexpectedly. “We had planned that after her return, her office would get all the drawings out and we would start the work,” continued Obrist. The exhibition will be located in the Serpentine Sackler Gallery. Here, rare paintings done early on in Hadid's career will be displayed. “They are not known enough, they are not known to a wider audience and we want many people to see them beyond the art and architecture world," said Obrist. "She is one of the great visionaries of our time, she is a historic figure and this is also why we feel this work has to be seen now and why it is so urgent. There could not be a more wonderful connection, to show it in her own building, the only structure in central London of hers.” Hadid has a strong relationship with the gallery. Her first work in London was the inaugural Serpentine Pavilion (which went up in 2000) and she has been a trustee since 1996. The exhibition will run through February 12, 2017. For next year's Serpentine Pavilion commission, British architects Richard Rogers and David Adjaye will be part of an advisory panel. The winner will be chosen by Obrist and new CEO Yana Peel.
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Bjarke Ingels and four others unveil designs for the 2016 Serpentine Pavilion and adjacent summer houses

Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) is unveiling high-profile projects at an unprecedented rate. The Copenhagen- and New York–based firm today released the rendering for its Serpentine Pavilion in London’s Kensington Gardens. The “un-zipped wall” features fiberglass, brick-like elements that pull apart to form space for visitors to stroll through. The design is more linear than most past Serpentines. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wb_zuxSzQE "As you can see from the architect's renders, Bjarke Ingels has responded to the brief for a multipurpose pavilion with a supremely elegant structure that is both curvaceous wall and soaring spire, that will surely serve as a beacon – drawing visitors across Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens to visit the pavilion, the summerhouses and our major exhibitions by Alex Katz and Etel Adnan," said gallery directors Julia Peyton-Jones and Hans Ulrich Obrist in a statement. Four the first time, the pavilion will be complemented by four summer houses. Those will be designed by Berlin architects Barkow Leibinger, Nigerian architect Kunlé Adeyemi, Paris-based architect Yona Friedman and English architect Asif Khan. All of the designs play off of Queen Caroline's Temple, a nearby 18th-century Neo-Classical garden folly. Khan’s design is a series of undulating timber spikes, while Yona Friedman has put forth a modular design meant to reference how cities grow, a reference to his La Ville Spatiale. Barkow Leibinger’s design references a now-demolished building that once sat on the site. Adeyemi references the folly in a void-like negative impression.
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The 16th Serpentine Pavilion will be designed by Bjarke Ingels, with four accompanying Summer Houses

Bjarke Ingels has come a long way since he designed the Denmark Pavilion, pictured above, for the Shanghai Expo 2010. His eponymous Copenhagen- and New York–based firm BIG, the Bjarke Ingels Group, today deals with skyscrapers and other large-scale projects in major cities around the world. But this summer, the firm will take a step back to design the 16th Serpentine Pavilion in Kensington Gardens, London. Each year since 2000, the Serpentine Gallery's Pavilion Commission selects an architect known "for consistently extending the boundaries of architecture practice," according to a press release. The selection is intended to introduce "contemporary artists and architects to a wider audience." Whether Bjarke Ingels needed an introduction is a matter for debate, but he joins other notable architects including Frank Gehry (2008), Zaha Hadid (2010), Peter Zumthor (2011), Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei (2012), Sou Fujimoto (2013), among others, to have the distinction of building a pavilion. Last year's pavilion was designed by selgascano. The 3,230-square-foot pavilion will be built and displayed for four months on the Serpentine Gallery's lawn in Kensington Gardens, London. The structure is used as a café during the day and "a forum for learning, debate and entertainment" in the evening. The Gallery claims the pavilion is "one of the top-ten most visited architectural and design exhibitions in the world." There is no budget for the project, which, this year, will be paid for with the deep pockets of lead sponsor Goldman Sachs and eventual sale of the pavilion structure itself. “After 15 years, the Pavilion programme has expanded," Julia Peyton-Jones, director of the Serpentine Galleries, said in a statement. "It now comprises five structures, each designed by an architect of international renown, aged between 36 and 93." This year, the Serpentine also announced that four 270-square-foot Summer Houses will be designed by firms from Amsterdam/Lagos, Berlin/New York, Paris, and London. Like Ingels, each Summer House winner works across architectural scales, from pavilions to skyscrapers. "The Pavilion, which will be situated on the lawn of the Serpentine Gallery, as usual, will be joined by four 25sqm Summer Houses designed in response to Queen Caroline’s Temple, a classical-style summer house built in 1734," Peyton-Jones continued. "All projects have been thrilling to commission and will be equally exciting to realise. We cannot wait to unveil them all this summer.” The four winning firms for the Summer House program are: Kunlé Adeyemi – NLÉ, Barkow Leibinger, Yona Friedman, and Asif Khan. "The four Summer Houses are inspired by the nearby Queen Caroline’s Temple, a classical style summer house, built in 1734 and a stone’s throw from the Serpentine Gallery," a press release about the Summer Houses reads. "In line with the criteria for the selection of the Pavilion architect, each architect chosen by the Serpentine has yet to build a permanent building in England." The Summer House program will be submitted to Westminster City Council Planning Office and District Surveyor’s Office this month for review. View examples of the winning firms' pavilion-scale work below. According to the Serpentine Gallery:

Kunlé Adeyemi (born 7 April 1976) is a Nigerian architect, urbanist and creative researcher. His recent work includes 'Makoko Floating School', an innovative, prototype, floating structure located on the lagoon heart of Nigeria’s largest city, Lagos. This acclaimed project is part of an extensive research project - 'African Water Cities' - being developed by NLÉ, an architecture, design and urbanism practice founded by Adeyemi in 2010 with a focus on developing cities and communities. NLÉ is currently developing a number of urban, research and architectural projects, including Rock - Chicago Lakefront Kiosk; Chicoco Radio Media Centre; Port Harcourt and Black Rhino Academy in Tanzania. Born and raised in Nigeria, Adeyemi studied architecture at the University of Lagos where he began his early practice, before joining Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) in 2002. At OMA he led the design, development and execution of several large prestigious projects around the world. Adeyemi is a juror for RIBA’s 2016 International Prize and an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Columbia University, New York.

According to the Serpentine Gallery:

Barkow Leibinger is an American/German architectural practice based in Berlin and New York, founded in 1993 by Frank Barkow (born 1957, Kansas City) and Regine Leibinger (born 1963, Stuttgart). Both taught at the Architectural Association in London and Harvard GSD, among other instutions. Regine Leibinger is Professor for Building Construction and Design at the Technische Universität Berlin. Barkow Leibinger’s work is wide ranging in scale and building types, including building for the work place (industry, office and master-planning), cultural, housing, exhibitions and installations. Important milestones are the Biosphere in Potsdam, Germany; the Gate House and the Campus Restaurant in Ditzingen; Germany, the Trutec Building in Seoul, Korea, and the Tour Total office high-rise in Berlin. Recently completed is the Fellows Pavilion for the American Academy in Berlin. Their work has been shown at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2008 and 2014, the Marrakech Biennale 2012 and is included in the collections of MoMA, New York and other museums. They have won numerous awards such as the Marcus Prize for Architecture; three National AIA Honor Awards for Architecture; the DAM Prize for Architecture and a Global Holcim Innovation Award for sustainability.

According to the Serpentine Gallery:

Yona Friedman (born 1923) is a Hungarian-born French architect. His theory and manifesto L'Architecture Mobile, published in 1958, champions the inhabitant as designer and conceptor of his own living space within spaceframe structures. Friedman’s work, developed to facilitate improvisation, influenced avant-garde groups such the Metabolists and Archigram. His projects have included the College Bergson in Angers, France; the Museum for Simple Technology in Madras, India, for which he received the Scroll of Honour for Habitat from the UN; and other projects for which he received the Architecture Award of the Berlin Academy, the Grand Prize for design of the Prime Minister of Japan and many other international honours. Universities where he has taught include Harvard, Columbia, MIT, Princeton and Berkeley. He has participated in the Venice Biennale three times (2003, 2005, 2009) and the Shanghai Biennale in 2004, among others. He has been, and continues to be, the subject of international exhibitions,  the latest of which took place in 2015 at the Power Station Museum of Art in Shanghai. Hundreds of articles and more than forty books have been published about him. Most recently he was voted by Blueprint Magazine readers as the winner of the 2015 Blueprint Magazine Award for Critical Thinking.

According to the Serpentine Gallery:

Asif Khan (born 1979, London) founded his architecture practice in 2007. The studio works internationally on projects ranging from cultural buildings to houses, temporary pavilions, exhibitions and installations. Notable projects include the ‘MegaFaces’ pavilion at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, Coca-Cola Beatbox Pavilion at London 2012 Olympics and most recently he was a finalist in the competition for the Helsinki Guggenheim Museum and the British Pavilion at Milan Expo 2015. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including a Red Dot award for Design, Cannes Lion Grand Prix for Innovation, a D&AD award, Special citation in Young Architect Programme 2011 MAXXI + MoMA/PS1, Design Miami Designer of the Future in 2011 and Design Museum Designer in Residence 2010. Khan lectures globally on his work, sits on the board of Trustees of the Design Museum and teaches MA Architecture at the Royal College of Art.

 
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Pictorial> Step inside Selgascano’s psychedelic Serpentine Pavilion

The 2015 Serpentine Pavilion has opened to the public in London's Kensington Gardens. The psychedelic, worm-like structure was designed by SelgasCano, a husband-and-wife team based in Madrid, and features translucent ETFE panels that are wrapped and woven like webbing. The architects said the pavilion's design is partially inspired by the chaos of passing through the London Underground. "We sought a way to allow the public to experience architecture through simple elements: structure, light, transparency, shadows, lightness, form, sensitivity, change, surprise, color, and materials," said the firm in a statement. "We have therefore designed a Pavilion which incorporates all of these elements. The spatial qualities of the pavilion only unfold when accessing the structure and being immersed within it. Each entrance allows for a specific journey through the space, characterized by color, light, and irregular shapes with surprising volumes. " If you're not going to make it to see the pavilion before it closes on October 18, be sure to check out the gallery below.  
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Spanish architects unveil a colorful, tangled web for the 15th Serpentine Pavilion in London

The Serpentine Galleries has unveiled renderings for its 15th summer pavilion which it described as an "amorphous, double-skinned, polygonal structure." The interactive and certainly bright installation is designed by the Madrid-based SelgasCano and comprises translucent, rainbow-colored panels woven into a webbing system. Visitors are encouraged to enter the pavilion and explore its "secret corridor" and "stained glass-effect interior." "We sought a way to allow the public to experience architecture through simple elements: structure, light, transparency, shadows, lightness, form, sensitivity, change, surprise, colour and materials," SelgasCano said in a statement. "We have therefore designed a Pavilion which incorporates all of these elements. The spatial qualities of the Pavilion only unfold when accessing the structure and being immersed within it. Each entrance allows for a specific journey through the space, characterised by colour, light and irregular shapes with surprising volumes. This is accomplished by creating a double-layered shell, made of opaque and translucent fluorine-based plastic (ETFE) in a variety of colours." After people have explored the colorful space, they will find an open space cafe sited at its center. Over the summer months, SelgasCano's pavilion will become the stage and centerpiece of Serpentine’s Park Nights—a cultural event held every Friday evening. Previous pavilion designers include Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, Jean Nouvel, Oscar Niemeyer, Peter Zumthor, SANAA, and Toyo Ito with Cecil Balmond. Architectural Digest recently reported that last year's pavilion by Chilean architect Smiljan Radic has been moved to the gardens of Hauser & Wirth Somerset a few hours outside of London.
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Spanish firm SelgasCano to design 15th Serpentine Pavilion in London

The Serpentine Galleries has announced that Spanish architecture firm SelgasCano has been selected to design its 15th Serpentine Pavilion in London's Kensington Gardens. While the pavilion plan won't be unveiled until February, here's what we know about the firm that won the coveted commission. "SelgasCano’s work is characterised by a use of synthetic materials and new technologies, often rarely applied to architecture," the Serpentine said in a statement. "Taking inspiration from Luis Barragan and Richard Rogers, the architects use distinctive colours and references to nature throughout their designs." SelgasCano was founded in Madrid in 1998 by José Selgas and Lucía Cano and has worked primarily in its home country. The firm teaches a class called "Nature and Climatology" at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and participated in the 2010 Venice Biennale. "This is an amazing and unique opportunity to work in a Royal Garden in the centre of London," SelgasCano said in a statement. "Both aspects, ‘Garden’ and ‘London’, are very important for us in the development of this project. We are in the middle of a garden, a ‘Royal’ garden indeed, once divided in two and separated by a Serpentine. That garden clings in the middle of London. Garden and London (which best defines London?) will be the elements to show and develop in the Pavilion. For that we are going to use only one material as a canvas for both: the Transparency. That ‘material’ has to be explored in all its structural possibilities, avoiding any other secondary material that supports it, and the most advanced technologies will be needed to be employed to accomplish that transparency. A good definition for the pavilion can be taken from J. M. Barrie: it aims to be as a ‘Betwixt-and-Between’." Previous pavilion designers include Frank GehryHerzog & de Meuron and Ai WeiweiRem Koolhaas and Cecil Balmond, Daniel Libeskind, and Zaha Hadid. Check out some of SelgasCano's work  in the gallery below.
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14th Annual Serpentine Pavilion Opens in Kensington Gardens, Designed by Smiljan Radic

On June 26, London's Serpentine Gallery opened its 14th annual Serpentine Pavilion in Kensington Gardens. Designed by Chilean architect Smiljan Radic, the pavilion is made up of an organically formed semi-transparent fiberglass shell structure perched atop giant boulders sourced from a local quarry. Over the next four months, visitors will be encouraged to interact with the 1,700-square-foot installation, which is occupied by a cafe and multi-purpose event space. On select Friday nights from July through September, the pavilion will serve as a stage for the gallery's Park Nights series of site-specific events, which combine art, poetry, music, film, and theory, including installations by emerging artists Lina Lapelyte, Hannah Perry, and Heather Phillipson. Radic's design follows Sou Fujimoto's cloud-like 2013 installation, which attracted nearly 200,000 visitors, the most of any Serpentine Pavilion to-date. For the second year in a row, global design services giant AECOM provided engineering services for the project. In previous years, such architectural luminaries as Frank Gehry, Jean Nouvel, and Herzog & de Meuron with Ai Weiwei have designed the pavilion. Radic had this to say about his design in a statement:
The Serpentine Pavilion 2014 continues a history of small romantic constructions seen in parks or large gardens, the so-called follies that were popular from the late sixteenth century to the beginning of the nineteenth century. In general, follies appear as ruins or have been worn away by time, displaying an extravagant, surprising and often archaic form. These characteristics artificially dissolve the temporal and physical limits of the constructions into their natural surroundings. The 2014 Pavilion takes these principles and applies them using a contemporary architectural language. The unusual shape and sensual qualities of the Pavilion have a strong physical impact on the visitor, especially juxtaposed with the classical architecture of the Serpentine Gallery. From the outside, visitors see a fragile shell in the shape of a hoop suspended on large quarry stones. Appearing as if they had always been part of the landscape, these stones are used as supports, giving the pavilion both a physical weight and an outer structure characterised by lightness and fragility. The shell, which is white, translucent and made of fibreglass, contains an interior that is organised around an empty patio at ground level, creating the sensation that the entire volume is floating. The simultaneously enclosed and open volumes of the structure explore the relationship between the surrounding Kensington Gardens and the interior of the Pavilion. The floor is grey wooden decking, as if the interior were a terrace rather than a protected interior space. At night, the semi-transparency of the shell, together with a soft amber-tinted light, draws the attention of passers-by like lamps attracting moths.
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Japanese Architect Sou Fujimoto Selected to Design 2013 Serpentine Pavilion

London's Serpentine Art Gallery has just announced that it has chosen Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto to design its annual summer garden pavilion in 2013. This much sought after commission has been designed in the past by Zaha Hadid (2000), Oscar Niemeyer (2003), Rem Koolhaas/Cecil Balmond/Arup (2006), Frank Gehry (2008), SANAA (2009), and last year by Hertzog & de Meuron with Ai Wei Wei. The Koolhaas inflatable bubble pavilion was the site of constant discussions led by Hans Ulrich Obrist but most are simpler cafes of pure pleasure (the main gallery was originally a tea house) and whimsy like last year's installation which was made of smoky smelling cork with a pond on its roof which usually had ducks serenely floating in the water. Fujimoto's pavilion will be a cloud-like structure constructed of a lattice of steel poles and is described by Fujimoto in his official press statement: "For the 2013 Pavilion I propose an architectural landscape: a transparent terrain that encourages people to interact with and explore the site in diverse ways. Within the pastoral context of Kensington Gardens, I envisage the vivid greenery of the surrounding plant life woven together with a constructed geometry. A new form of environment will be created, where the natural and the man-made merge; not solely architectural nor solely natural, but a unique meeting of the two. "The Pavilion will be a delicate, three-dimensional structure, each unit of which will be composed of fine steel bars. It will form a semi-transparent, irregular ring, simultaneously protecting visitors from the elements while allowing them to remain part of the landscape. The overall footprint will be 350 square- metres and the Pavilion will have two entrances. A series of stepped terraces will provide seating areas that will allow the Pavilion to be used as a flexible, multi-purpose social space." The temporary pavilion will open to the public on June 8, 2013 and will remain in Kensington Gardens until October 20.
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Zumthor′s Secret Garden: First Look at 2011 Serpentine Pavilion

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.