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03 September, 2010

The Red Sun Pavillion

2010 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion is.... Red.

By Maria Papadimitriou

Greek version

This year the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion is designed by the French architect Jean Nouvel and it is the architect's first completed building in the United Kingdom.

 



This 2010 Pavilion is the first and most ambitious architectural program of its kind as it operates simultaneously as public space, café and as a venue for public talks and events. The Pavilion commission follows a long tradition in London and Hyde Park has become an international site for architectural experimentation.

 

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The 2010 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion is ... Red.

In one of the largest parks in London,  the architect wanted to offer city residents a new experience that will not isolate, but will complement their daily habits.

In London parks, you may "enjoy serenity, like being at home, in your city, your park," says the architect. These voids in the city offer free space for relaxation, social contact and a variety of activities. Some one walk, run, some others sit on the bench, others read a book on the grass, some others think, talk and play with their friends....

"One wonders why such simple urban parks, such voids, are so rare in other cities." Jean Nouvel through the booth wanted to offer an additional summer experience to Londoners. He wanted to include the walk inside the pavilion in their daily summer habits 

 

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Summer, sun, heat

In summer, deciduous trees in Hyde Park are denser, greener. Colors are more vivid. Flowers have already "opened" and colors multiply in the park. Green is the dominant color. The summer pavilion shall complement the picture, it shall be bright, reminiscent of summer. And the complementary color of green is red.

Summer heat is red. Red is strong, vibrant, penetrating. It encourages, prohibits, guides.

The English rose is red. The London double-bus, telephone boxes, post boxes are red ... Jean Nouvel wanted to capture booth habits of Londoners. What best describes London, if not red.

Red does not last, temperature will fall as summer ends. Its intensity exhausts, kills, roses lose their petals. "Red is the sun, the sun leaves and flames as it appears at dawn and disappears at dusk. Red is the color of passion, this state of love that never lasts, that is fragile ... As the flame that we protect, prolong. ", as describes the architect.

 

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The Pavilion plays with the sun

A play of red graduations, a play of contrasts between the red pavilion and the green park, between the  lightweight materials and solid metal of the structure. The pavilion consists of bold geometric forms, large retractable awnings and a sloped freestanding wall that stands of 12m height. A versatile system of interior and exterior spaces.  A fluid, open space whose glass roofs and fabric screens manipulate the light to often hallucinatory effect.  Jean Nouvel wanted to play with the diffusion of light and diffraction of the surrounding images.

 

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The 2010 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion for the current year 2010 is red, red for the summer, red for the sun and it will "supplement" Hyde Park until the 17th of October.

Maria Papadimitriou, architect engineer

Images: kind courtesy of Jean Nouvel Ateliers
Images Copyright: Philippe Ruault and John Offenbach

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