The Serpentine Gallery today released plans for the 2012 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion designed by Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei.
The design team responsible for the Beijing National Stadium, which was built for the 2008 Olympic Games, comes together again in London in 2012 for the Serpentine’s annual commission, being presented as part of the London 2012 Festival, the culmination of the Cultural Olympiad. The Pavilion is the twelfth commission in the Gallery’s annual series, and Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei’s first collaborative built structure in the UK.
This year’s Pavilion is designed to 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.