This year’s Serpentine Pavilion in London Hyde Park has been praised by the critics for being original and ambition architectural structure. What makes it also unique is that it is designed by new talent rather than a very established name like in many previous year’s pavilions. Chilean architect Smiljan Radić is unknown for general public.
From a visitor point of view the gallery however doesn’t feel inviting enough. Actually, it is even hard to take interesting looking pictures of it. Unlike last year’s very successful open and inviting design by Sou Fujimoto, the space feels dark and damp, too small for bigger crowds. In fact there is not many people around despite being a hot summer day.
The main material of the structure is fiberglass, however not in a way we are used to seeing it, but in a very crude finish. The architect’s aim was to make it look like unfinished, giant model. The surrounding and supporting stones gives it a primal feeling. It has also been described looking like an extra terrestrial object.
In my opinion it is the right direction for the future of Serpentine Pavillion to have more new talent designing adventurous or challenging pavilions, however they should also feel open and inviting for the visitors.