Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2009 Kazuyo Sejima & Ryue Nishizawa of SANAA

Architecture & Interiors

The Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2009 has been designed by Kazuyo
Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa of leading Japanese architecture practice
SANAA. It is sponsored by NetJets Europe. Describing their
structure the architects say: ‘The Pavilion is floating aluminium,
drifting freely between the trees like smoke. The reflective canopy
undulates across the site, expanding the park and sky. Its appearance
changes according to the weather, allowing it to melt into the
surroundings. It works as a field of activity with no walls, allowing
uninterrupted view across the park and encouraging access from all
sides. It is a sheltered extension of the park where people can read,
relax and enjoy lovely summer days.’


Sejima and Nishizawa have
created a stunning Pavilion that resembles a reflective cloud or a
floating pool of water, sitting atop a series of delicate columns. The
metal roof structure varies in height, wrapping itself around the trees
in the park, reaching up towards the sky and sweeping down almost to
the ground in various places. Open and ephemeral in structure, its
reflective materials make it sit seamlessly within the natural
environment, reflecting both the park and sky around it.


Pavilion will be the architects’ first built structure in the UK and
the ninth commission in the Gallery’s annual series of Pavilions, the
world’s first and most ambitious architectural programme of its kind
that annually gives pre-eminent architects their début in this country
and brings the best of contemporary architecture to London for everyone
to enjoy.


There is no budget for the Serpentine Gallery
Pavilion commission. It is paid for by sponsorship, sponsorship
help-in-kind, and the sale of the finished structure through Knight
Frank, which does not cover more than 40% of its cost. The Serpentine
Gallery collaborates with a range of companies and individuals whose
support makes it possible to realise the Pavilion.


Peyton-Jones, Director, and Hans Ulrich Obrist, Co-Director, Serpentine
Gallery, said: ‘Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa’s design embraces the
parkland around the Serpentine Gallery as never before with an
extraordinarily innovative design, which reveals the subtle play on
light and perception so characteristic of their work. This Pavilion
will be a wonderful addition to London’s landscape this summer. It is
our dream come true.’ Separate areas within the Pavilion
contain spaces for a café and an auditorium, where the Park Nights
events programme will be presented, including performances, talks, film
screenings and the Serpentine Gallery Poetry Marathon.


and Nishizawa’s pioneering buildings have created an architecture that
marries aesthetic simplicity with technical complexity, defining a new
architectural language which plays with light and perception. Sought
after by high-profile clients the world over, from the Louvre Museum in
Lens, France, to the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York, USA,
SANAA’s projects are open stages which make visible the connection
between the built structure, the users and the natural environment.
Sejima, who in her early days studied at the Japan Women's University
and worked with architect Toyo Ito, designer of the Serpentine Gallery
Pavilion in 2002, began collaborating with Nishizawa in 1995. The
architects are working with the structural design and engineering firm
SAPS, led by Mutsuro Sasaki, and with the Arup team, led by David
Glover and Ed Clark with Cecil Balmond, to realise this project.


Europe is the title sponsor for the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2009.
Mark Booth, Executive Chairman, said: ‘Sejima and Nishizawa’s design
for the Serpentine Pavilion 2009 is truly breathtaking. The incredible
light and openness of the concept will make for a stunning structure,
which will raise the bar even higher for the much-anticipated Pavilion.
Design is an area that we’re passionate about at NetJets: we’re firmly
focussed on how we can bring world-class design to our customers’
flight experience; just as the Serpentine Pavilion brings world class
architecture to London. We’re delighted to be a partner in this project
and are looking forward to seeing the finished Pavilion.’


Partner Ed Clark commented: ‘Arup's eighth year of commitment to the
Serpentine Pavilion reflects our belief in the project and the positive
experience our teams get from collaborating with some of the most
exciting architects of our time. This year's Pavilion does not
disappoint and reflects the exciting dynamism that SANAA bring to all
of their projects.’


Peter Rogers, Director of Stanhope plc,
will donate his expertise to all aspects of the Pavilion. He said: ‘The
Serpentine Pavilion is a unique project whose innovative and
challenging designs transcend normal building projects as well as
fusing art and architecture in an exciting built form.’

Photographs courtesy of Guardian – photographers Dan Kitwood, Graeme Robertson, Shaun Curry

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  1. Pingback: Kazuyo Sejima By Isabella Carolina Marina Ehrmann | Culture of Design - Global Design in the 21st Century

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