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photos © caroline rabourdin


dates : 08.09.09 - 02.10.09

opening times: 10 am - 6 pm daily

price: free

address:

Serpentine Gallery

Kensington Gardens

London W2 3XA


link:

http://www.serpentinegallery.org/    


map: http://www.multimap.com

 

Today was SANAA’s Serpentine Pavilion last day in its settings in Kensington Gardens and I am imagining the teams and tools which will probably start work on dismantling the piece tomorrow.

The pavilions, offered to the public for a few months in the summer are usually sold thereafter and go on becoming private properties. Lucky be the new owner. I loved the pavilion. After studying pictures and plans of Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa for years in books and magazines, I was thrilled at the idea of seeing my first SANAA building in the flesh. And I was not disappointed. Some may argue that the Serpentine Pavilion has lost its experimental edge and has become a showcase of some of the best international practices work, but who would complain about that? It brings to London some of the best designs, and if they take some resemblance to other of the architects works, then so be it.

I found this canopy exquisite, disappearing almost completely with its reflecting ceiling and slender columns, enabling the landscape to take centre stage. The surroundings, ground finishes, stones and plants were carefully selected and designed and the layout had a fluidity I’d never experienced in any other building. Part landscape, part architecture.

This pavilion made me yearn for more, so the incentive to go and visit Japan is only growing stronger.