Ai Wei Wei and Herzog de Meuron architects have teamed up with the Serpentine Gallery for this year interpretation of pavilion. This year (being the first one I’ve been to not by accident or by trip organised by school) had to be one of the most conceptually challenging yet most impressive and most memorable concepts I’ve come across yet for the pavilion, (bearing in mind I’ve only come across 4 of the 12 pavilions in past years.)
The idea is that the user is taken on a journey under where previous pavilions have been, like actually underground. Taking the user on a journey of the previous pavilions through a reflection of structure and location.
Upon visiting, I felt this grand concept, the gesture, this nod to the past was somewhat lost in translation from the paper to site. The site pays more of a wink to the past pavilions than a reflection of the past, though I did enjoy the idea of walking down under the ground, under the reflection pond housed on the roof current pavilion. This had to be, for me, an amazing point, mirroring last years
not-so secret but self reflective garden housed inside of the pavilion.
It’s a little surreal experience, I do encourage taking a visit to the new pavilion on till about late september.