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'Betwixt-and-Between'

Sian
Thursday 04 Dec 2014

Spanish architecture studio SelgasCano tapped to design next Serpentine Pavilion

Spanish firm SelgasCano is to design the 15th Serpentine Pavilion, it has been revealed. The annual pavilion commission is granted to an architect or practice that is yet to complete a building in the UK and has seen the likes of Frank Gehry, Sou Fujimoto and, last year, Chilean architect Smiljan Radic.

Established in 1998 by Jose Selgas and Lucia Cano, the design studio blends synthetic materials and cutting edge technology with subtle references to nature to create distinctive projects, often shot through with bright colour. The team will be submitting their initial designs for the pavilion in February 2015.

The Serpentine Pavilion is commissioned each year to create a dynamic temporary space in London’s Kensington Gardens. The structure must be highly flexible and include a café, but the style and form of the pavilion is left to the architect.

This year, AECOM will once again be providing the engineering behind the project in collaboration with David Glover, who has now taken a new role as the CEO of Intelligent Engineering. Goldman Sachs has been revealed as the headline sponsor for this year’s pavilion.

Speaking on the announcement, SelgasCano said: “This is an amazing and unique opportunity to work in a Royal Garden in the centre of London. 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 a ‘Betwixt-and-Between’.” 

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