Starting tomorrow, the 12th version of the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion will be open at the Hyde Park in London. As we announced some months ago, the design was commissioned to Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei. The final proposal was published just at the beginning of this month, showing an interesting ground work. This year’s pavilion is half sunk into the landscape, as if it were carved in the terrain and covered with a liquid layer, reflecting the the surrounding light and landscape.
More info and images after the break
Built in 1861, the Park Avenue Armory Park functioned as both a military facility and a social club for the prestigious Seventh Regiment of the National Guard of President Lincoln’s volunteer militia. Now, the 210,000 sqf five story building (which occupies an entire city block) serves as the home for a not-for-profit cultural institution where visual and performing arts can take place within a not so traditional setting. In 2007, the building began a comprehensive revitalization project as it had fallen into a state of disrepair with Herzog & de Meuron as the lead designers (by the way, have you seen their new website?). Herzog & de Meuron have embraced the history, craftsmanship, and the inherent contrast of the Armory’s spaces to restore the interiors to their original elegance. “Park Avenue Armory is a richly layered building of outstanding historical significance that we are treating like a monument, revealing the physical traces produced over time, preserving it for the future and above all reinventing it,” explained Herzog & de Meuron.
More about the restoration after the break.
This coming Thursday, May 5th Harvard University Graduate School of Design will host Jacques Herzog, of Pritzker Prize winning Herzog de Meuron. The lecture, from 4pm-5pm, will be held at the Piper Auditorium and is free and open to the public. It will also be streaming live on the GSD webcast page. Further information about this upcoming lecture can be found here.
With concerns rising about the future of Design for London, a lengthy list of high profile architects have assembled themselves submitting an open letter to the Mayor of London. “As architects from many countries, we want to encourage the Mayor to secure the survival of this remarkable team. We hope that he is aware of how widely admired the efforts are of this small group of talented designers. London should consider itself lucky to have a skilled, knowledgeable and creative organisation supporting efforts to make it a better city.”
A projected growth by around one million people over the next twenty years, confirms that Design for London‘s survival is crucial as it is an influential player in steering designs and new developments towards an environmentally responsible city. The protection of London’s existing green spaces, character, heritage, and established unique neighborhoods will be essential as the city builds to accommodate its expected growth, and Design for London‘s collaborative efforts, on behalf of the Mayor of London, verify that projects are focused on these factors.
Full public letter to the Mayor of London following the break.