The Serpentine Gallery is proud to announce that Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei will create the 2012 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion. It will be the twelfth commission in the Gallery's annual series, the world's first and most ambitious architectural programme of its kind.
The design team responsible for the celebrated Beijing National Stadium, which was built for the 2008 Olympic Games, comes together again in London in 2012 for the Serpentine's acclaimed annual commission, being presented as part of the London 2012 Festival, the culmination of the Cultural Olympiad. The Pavilion is Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei's first collaborative built structure in the UK.
This year's Pavilion will take visitors beneath the Serpentine's lawn to explore the hidden history of its previous Pavilions. Eleven columns characterising each past Pavilion and a twelfth column representing the current structure will support a floating platform roof 1.4 metres above ground. The Pavilion's interior will be clad in cork, a sustainable building material chosen for its unique qualities and to echo the excavated earth. Taking an archaeological approach, the architects have created a design that will inspire visitors to look beneath the surface of the park as well as back in time across the ghosts of the earlier structures.
Jacques Herzog of architects Herzog & de Meuron gave Dezeen an exclusive, impromptu tour of their Serpentine Gallery Pavilion when it opened in London in May 2012.
In the movie, Herzog explains his jealousy that the fact that his office had worked in London before ruled them out of the Serpentine commission – which goes to architects that have never built before in the UK – and his delight at the ruse employed by the Serpentine Gallery to get around this: by teaming up with Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, their co-collaboraotor on the Bird’s Nest Stadium in Beijing, to form a team that satisfied the rules.
Herzog also explains why they decided to bury the pavilion in the ground beneath a raised pool of water and why they based the design on the imagined archaeology of the previous pavilions that had occupied the site.
Film credits are as follows:
Director: Johnny Kelly
Stop Frame Animation: Matthew Cooper, Kris Hofman
3D previs: Johnny Kelly
Director of Photography: Pete Ellmore
Production Designer: Graham Staughton
Rigging: Max Halstead
Post Production / Grade: Alasdair Brotherston
Filmed at Clapham Road Studios
Music: Andy and Jez Williams
Producer: Beccy McCray
Executive Producer: Chris O’Reilly
Production Company: Nexus Productions