the world's most visited architecture website

Selgascano's Serpentine and the ArchDaily Comments Section

Photographer Nikhilesh Haval of nikreations has shared with us this virtual tour of the 2015 Serpentine Pavilion. Taking viewers through a series of 360-degree panoramas shot on a mercifully sunny day, the tour shows off the pavilion's striking colors to good effect and gives some indication of the complex and dynamic arrangement of the design's double skin.

For those won't get the opportunity to visit for themselves, Haval's virtual tour is a great way to experience SelgasCano's psychedelic space as it gives a reasonable impression of what it feels like to actually be there. I can say that with some authority because, since I last wrote about the pavilion, I got the chance to visit it myself - and what I found was completely different to the pavilion I might have expected had I been taking cues from our comments section. I'd like to talk to our readers about that directly, if I may.

SelgasCano in Conversation with Hans Ulrich Obrist, Smiljan Radić and Sou Fujimoto

Last month, as part of their Park Nights event series, COS assembled Spanish architects José Selgas and Lucía Cano (SelgasCano) at their new pavilion for the Serpentine Gallery in London's Hyde Park to discuss the concepts behind their design and the history of the Pavilion Commission with Serpentine directors Julia Peyton-Jones and Hans Ulrich Obrist. They were joined by Chilean architect Smiljan Radić, designer of the 2014 pavilion, and Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto, designer of 2013's, in an hour long conversation moderated by Sarah Ichioka.

Video: selgascano, Sou Fujimoto and Smiljan Radic on the 15 Year History of the Serpentine Pavilion

A prelude to Serpentine Park Nights, selgascano, Sou Fujimoto and Smiljan Radic sat down with Serpentine Directors Julia Peyton-Jones and Hans Ulrich Obrist to discuss the concepts behind the design of the 2015 Serpentine Pavilion and the history of the commission. The conversation, moderated by Sarah Ichioka, marks the 15th anniversary of the Serpentine Pavilion

SelgasCano's Serpentine Pavilion: "Cheap Plastic Bag" or "Pop-Art Inflatable Funscape"?

We're just three days into the four-month display of SelgasCano's 2015 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion and the comments it has generated from ArchDaily readers have already been as colorful as the pavilion itself - with criticisms ranging from "worst Serpentine Gallery Pavilion ever" to "trash bag monster" and a few other comparisons that I'd rather not even repeat. This may surprise some people, but at ArchDaily we do actually read the comments section, and we get it: unless you're the brave and persistent soul who comments as "notyourproblem," who thinks "it must be exciting getting inside those tunnels," there's a good chance that you hate this pavilion - and I don't use the word "hate" lightly.

But is this violent dismissal warranted? In short, is SelgasCano's pavilion as bad as you probably think it is? Fortunately, we're not the only publication giving the pavilion extensive coverage: as usual the Serpentine Gallery has attracted a number of the UK's most well-known critics. Find out what they thought of the pavilion after the break.

© Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Jim Stephenson © Laurian Ghinitoiu

SelgasCano's Serpentine Pavilion / Images by Laurian Ghinitoiu

Take a peek into SelgasCano's Serpentine Gallery Pavilion—which opened on June 22—through the lens of Romanian photographer Laurian Ghinitoiu

Iwan Baan's Images of Selgas Cano's 2015 Serpentine Pavilion

With the opening ceremony of SelgasCano's Serpentine Gallery pavilion earlier today, the Serpentine Gallery has released a set of images by Iwan Baan, capturing the riotous color explosion delivered by the pavilion's ETFE wrapping. Always one of London's most popular architectural attractions over the summer, this year marks the pavilion's 15th anniversary, and will be on display until October 18th.

Read on after the break for more images - and stay tuned to this posts for updates throughout the day!

Serpentine Pavilion designed by selgascano 2015. Image © Iwan Baan Serpentine Pavilion designed by selgascano 2015. Image © Iwan Baan Serpentine Pavilion designed by selgascano 2015. Image © Iwan Baan Serpentine Pavilion designed by selgascano 2015. Image © Iwan Baan

SelgasCano's 2015 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion Opens

The 2015 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion was revealed today in London, showcasing the colorful plastic design by SelgasCano to the public for the first time. Consisting of a minimal steel frame wrapped in multi-colored ETFE sheets and webbing, the design is encompassed by "secret corridors" which provide access to the main internal space, inspired by the multi-layered and sometimes chaotic network of the London underground.

© Daniel Portilla © Daniel Portilla © Daniel Portilla © Daniel Portilla

First Images Revealed of SelgasCano's Serpentine Pavilion In Progress

With this year's Serpentine Pavilion in London scheduled to open next week, the Serpentine Gallery has released construction images of SelgasCano's multi-colored plastic shelter. The images by NAARO show the double-skinned ETFE-coated structure taking shape, and give an impression of the spatial experience offered by the "secret corridors" which circumnavigate and provide access to the interior space.


Serpentine Gallery Reveals SelgasCano's Colorful Design for 2015 Pavilion

The Serpentine Gallery has unveiled SelgasCano's designs for the 2015 Serpentine Pavilion in London, revealing a brightly-colored "chrysalis" structure created from a double skin of ETFE membrane wrapped in webbing. The Madrid-based duo were announced as the project's designers in December, joining the prestigious list of past pavilion designers which includes SANAA (2009)Jean Nouvel (2010)Peter Zumthor (2011)Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei (2012)Sou Fujimoto (2013), and last year's designer Smiljan Radić, among many others.

More on the pavilion, and SelgasCano's statement after the break.

Smiljan Radić’s Serpentine Pavilion Relocates to Bruton

Chilean architect Smiljan Radić’s shell-shaped Serpentine Pavilion has been relocated from Hyde Park to the gardens of Hauser & Wirth Somerset in Bruton. Just under three hours from London, the new site positions the translucent fiberglass structure in short proximity to a main gallery complex designed by Paris-based Argentine architect Luis Laplace and within an lush garden designed by Dutch landscape architect Piet Oudolf.

The Work of SelgasCano, the 2015 Serpentine Pavilion Designers

The latest designer of the prestigious Serpentine Gallery Pavilion has been named as SelgasCano, the Spanish practice known for their use of the latest synthetic materials and new technology. The Serpentine Pavilion, which has grown to become one of the most visited annual architecture attractions in the world, aims to provide architects who have never built in the UK their first chance to do so. In the past, this has led to pavilions by globally-recognized names such as Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, Rem Koolhaas, Oscar Niemeyer, and Peter Zumthor, but in recent years the Serpentine Gallery seems to have changed course a little, instead bringing lesser-known, emergent stars to a much wider audience. This was true of Smiljan Radić and his 2014 pavilion, and will likely prove true for the duo of José Selgas and Lucía Cano.

Although designs for the 2015 pavilion will not be released until February, SelgasCano have promised "to use only one material... the Transparency," adding that "the most advanced technologies will be needed to be employed to accomplish that transparency." This coy description perhaps calls to mind the design of their own office, a partially sunken tube of a building with one side made entirely of curved glass, which won them widespread recognition in 2009.

To give a better idea of the design style that SelgasCano will bring to the 2015 Serpentine Pavilion, we've rounded up a number of their major projects for your viewing pleasure, after the break.

Auditorium in Cartagena. Image © Iwan Baan Merida Factory Youth Movement. Image © Iwan Baan Congress Center and Auditorium. Image © Flickr CC user fernando carrasco Auditorium in Cartagena. Image © Iwan Baan Silicon House. Image © Roland Halbe Merida Factory Youth Movement. Image © Iwan Baan Office in the Woods. Image © Iwan Baan Plasencia Auditorium and Congress Centre Cáseres. Image © Hisao Suzuki

SelgasCano to Design 2015 Serpentine Pavilion

Spanish architects SelgasCano have been selected to design the 2015 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, which has become one of the top-ten most visited architectural and design exhibitions in the world. The Pavilion will stand in Kensington Gardens during the summer and serving as a multi-purpose social space.

The award-winning studio is led by José Selgas and Lucía Cano and will be the first Spanish architecture practice to design a Serpentine Pavilion, with AECOM once again providing the engineering and technical design services. Although designs will not be revealed until February 2015, SelgasCano had this to say about designing the pavilion:

"This is an amazing and unique opportunity to work in a Royal Garden in the centre of London. Both aspects, ‘Garden’ and ‘London’, are very important for us in the development of this project. We are in the middle of a garden, a ‘Royal’ garden indeed, once divided in two and separated by a Serpentine. That garden clings in the middle of London. Garden and London (which best defines London?) will be the elements to show and develop in the Pavilion. For that we are going to use only one material as a canvas for both: the Transparency. That ‘material’ has to be explored in all its structural possibilities, avoiding any other secondary material that supports it, and the most advanced technologies will be needed to be employed to accomplish that transparency. A good definition for the pavilion can be taken from J. M. Barrie: it aims to be as a ‘Betwixt-and-Between’."

Translating Smiljan Radić's Serpentine Pavilion from Fantasy to Fabrication

Settled neatly in the quiet hum of London's Kensington Gardens rests Smiljan Radić's 2014 Serpentine Pavilion, an ethereal mass of carefully moulded fiberglass punctuated by precisely cut openings. Radić desired a structure that appears thin and brittle, yet was strong enough to support itself, and his affection for the rudimental layered qualities of papier-mâché - his maquette medium of choice - inspired the use of fiberglass by AECOM, who engineered Radić's wild ideas. In this article, originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "Paper-Thin Walls," an AECOM engineer explains their solution. Read on after the break to find out more. 

Smiljan Radic’s Serpentine Pavilion / Images by Hufton+Crow

Photography studio Hufton+Crow is the latest to capture the 2014 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, designed by Chilean architect Smiljan Radic. Step inside this glass-fibre reinforced plastic shell with Hufton+Crow’s photos after the break. 

© Hufton+Crow © Hufton+Crow © Hufton+Crow © Hufton+Crow

Critical Round-Up: 2014 Serpentine Pavilion / Smiljan Radic

Last week, the 2014 Serpentine Pavilion opened in London's Hyde Park. The Serpentine Pavilion program invites architects who are yet to work in the UK to create a temporary installation at the gallery's grounds for one summer, and this year it was the turn of Chilean architect Smiljan Radic, who rarely builds outside his native country and is arguably the least well-known architect in the Pavilion's 14 year history.

Always a highlight in London's architectural calender, critics almost line up to write their reviews. This year, they are almost entirely unanimous: Radic's pavilion is, unquestionably, weird. But they're also unanimous on another judgement: it may be one of the best Serpentine Pavilions yet.

Read on after the break to find out what the critics said about this year's design

© Daniel Portilla © Daniel Portilla © Daniel Portilla © Iwan Baan

Smiljan Radic's Serpentine Pavilion / Images by Danica O. Kus

Architecture photographer Danica O. Kus has shared with us images of the 2014 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, designed by Chilean architect Smiljan Radić. For a closer look at this unusual pavilion, inspired by Oscar Wilde's short story The Selfish Giant, check out all of Ms. Kus' images after the break.

© Danica O. Kus © Danica O. Kus © Danica O. Kus © Danica O. Kus

Smiljan Radic's Serpentine Pavilion Opens

UPDATE: Check out video from today's press conference at the Serpentine Pavilion! 

The 2014 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, designed by Chilean architect Smiljan Radic, opened this morning in London's Hyde Park. The pavilion, a glass-fibre reinforced plastic shell resting on large quarry stones, was inspired by a papier mâché model which Radic created four years ago as a response to the Oscar Wilde story 'The Selfish Giant'.

© Daniel Portilla
© Daniel Portilla

More images after the break

Smiljan Radic to Design 2014 Serpentine Pavilion

Joining the ranks of Sou Fujimoto (2013), Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei (2012),Peter Zumthor (2011),Jean Nouvel (2010),SANAA (2009),and more, little-known Chilean architect Smiljan Radic will be the fourteenth architect to design London's Serpentine Gallery Pavilion. Renderings of his design reveal a semi-translucent, cylindrical structure that rests on large quarry stones.The pavilion, to open June 26th, will remain in Kensington Gardens for four months.

Although Radic has constructed little outside his home country, his work has gained attention due to its versatility and attention to context. If you're unfamiliar, we recommend checking out Mestizo Restaurant, which similarly incorporates stone into its design, as well as his most recent. Julia Peyton-Jones, Director, and Hans Ulrich Obrist, Co-Director, of the Serpentine Galleries explained their choice: “We have been intrigued by [Radic’s] work ever since our first encounter with him at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2011 [sic]. Radic is a key protagonist of an amazing architectural explosion in Chile. While enigmatically archaic, in the tradition of romantic follies, Radic’s designs for the Pavilion also look excitingly futuristic, appearing like an alien space pod that has come to rest on a Neolithic site. We cannot wait to see his Pavilion installed on the Serpentine Gallery’s lawn this summer.”

More info and images after the break…