LONDON––Dark, dynamic cement tile harnesses the copacetic relationship between light, reflective waters and geometry in Mexican architect Frida Escobedo’s atmospheric 2018 Serpentine Pavilion design, Serpentine Galleries writes.
The 18th and youngest architect yet to accept the invitation to design a temporary Pavilion on the Serpentine Gallery lawn in Kensington Gardens. This pioneering commission, which began in 2000 with Zaha Hadid, has presented the first UK buildings of some of the biggest names in international architecture.
Drawing on both the domestic architecture of Mexico and the materials and history of Britain, Escobedo’s pavilion takes the form of an enclosed courtyard featuring two rectangular arenas in which outer walls align with the Serpentine Gallery’s eastern façade as the internal courtyard aligns to the north.
Internal courtyards are a common feature of Mexican domestic architecture, while the Pavilion’s pivoted axis refers to the Prime Meridian, which was established in 1851 at Greenwich and became the global standard marker of time and geographical distance.
As Dezeen writes, the courtyard is enclosed by dark, celosia- or lattice-like cement walls, which allows for gentle breezes to permeate a building––a typical feature in Mexican architecture. The perforations also allow views into and out of the structure, while the mirrored underside of the canopy overhead reflects and refracts the building’s rippling geometry and water.
In an interview with Dezeen, Escobedo explains her pavilion design is a architectural expression of the passage of time allowing visitors to experience varying light for different times of day.
“My design for the Serpentine Pavilion 2018 is a meeting of material and historical inspirations inseparable from the city of London itself and an idea which has been central to our practice from the beginning: the expression of time in architecture through inventive use of everyday materials and simple forms.”