Frida Escobedo’s Serpentine Pavilion is now open

Mexican elements and British materials are combined in the Serpentine’s new temporary pavilion: a sundial that marks time in shared space.

Frida Escobedo’s Serpentine Pavilion is now open

The 2018 Serpentine Pavilion by Frida Escobedo has been completed. The project emerges for its combination of Mexican features and British-made materials. Escobedo is the youngest architect to design the temporary pavilion on the lawn of Serpentine Gallery, in Kensington Gardens.

The building combines two rectangular volumes forming an enclosed courtyard – a traditional element of Mexican domestic architecture – where the outer walls are aligned with the Gallery’s walls while the courtyard replicates the direction given by Greenwich Prime Meridian, the global standard marker of time and geographical distance. The British-made black cement roof tiles appear as if they are woven on a steel structure producing a pattern that reminisces the Mexican breeze wall commonly referred to as celosia. The interplay of lights and shadows that the building catalyses is enhanced by the interaction of two elements: the mirrored curved underside of the canopy and the 5mm deep triangular mirror pool in the courtyard.

Escobedo comments: “The design aligns material and historical inspirations from Mexico and the United Kingdom with a concept that has been central to our practice from the beginning – the expression of time in architecture through inventive use of everyday materials and simple forms. For the Serpentine Pavilion, we add the materials of light and shadow, reflection and refraction, turning the building into a timepiece that charts the passage of the day.”

2018 Serpentine Pavilion
temporary pavilion
Frida Escobedo, Taller de Arquitectura
Project leader of the architectural team:
Matthew Kennedy
Project team:
José Maria Gomez de Leon, Federica Lombardi, Andrés Harvey, Héctor Arce, Carlos Hernandez, Mario Gonzales, Elisa Herrera
Project directors:
Hans Ulrich Obrist (Artistic Director) and Yana Peel (CEO), Serpentine Galleries
Project leader of the Serpentine Galleries:
Julie Burnell, Head of Construction and Buildings
Project Curators of the Serpentine Galleries:
Rebecca Lewin (Curator), Joseph Constable (Assistant Curator)
Opening dates:
15 June - 7 October 2018

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