Mexican architect Frida Escobedo has been named as the designer of the Serpentine Pavilion 2018. Due to open in London on June 15, Escobedo’s design for the temporary pavilion on the Serpentine Gallery lawn in Kensington Gardens will take the form of a courtyard, formed of two rectangular volumes, enclosed by dark perforated walls made of simple stacks of cement roof tiles – a beautiful take on the celosia, a traditional breeze wall common to Mexican domestic architecture.
Through the inventive use of everyday off-the-peg material employed to roof British houses and the decision to align the axis of the internal courtyard to the North, a reference to the Prime Meridian line at London’s Royal Observatory in Greenwich, Escobedo’s airy structure won’t fail to integrate a distinctly British twist. Additionally, a mirrored underside of a curving canopy overhead and a reflecting triangular pool cast into the pavilion floor will provide for an atmospheric interplay of reflections, water, and geometry, thus turning Escobedo’s design into a timepiece powered by light and shadow.
Hosting a café, as well as a broad program of interdisciplinary performances, workshops, and talks related to architecture, art, music, dance and more, Frida Escobedo’s Serpentine Pavilion “promises to be a place both of deep reflection and dynamic encounter. With this bold interior, Frida draws history into the present and redefines the meaning of public space," said Serpentine Galleries director Hans Ulrich Obrist and chief executive Yana Peel.
Born in Mexico City in 1979, Escobedo is the 18th and youngest architect to have been selected for the prestigious annual commission from the Serpentine Galleries in London, which launched in 2000 with star architect Zaha Hadid. Her prize-winning designs have featured at the Venice Architecture Biennale (2012 and 2014), the Lisbon Architecture Triennale (2013), and in San Francisco, London and New York.