News Column

Art rock: new Serpentine pavilion

June 27, 2014

CHILEAN architect Smiljan Radic creates unique atmospheres by contrasting materials. His Serpentine pavilion - one of the strangest since the annual project started in 2000 - places a delicate, semitranslucent, jellyfish-like structure on top of roughly strewn boulders and quarry stones. Some have described it as a collision between an egg and a neolithic burial site, others as a spaceship that's crashed into stone-henge.

"At night, thanks to the semitransparency of the shell, the light will attract the attention of passers-by, like lamps attracting moths," says Radic´ , the 14th architect to be invited by the Serpentine to design a temporary pavilion on the lawn outside the gallery in Kensington Gardens.

Of the few to have been selected - a prestigious group including Frank Gehry, Oscar Niemeyer and Zaha Hadid - he is one of the least well known. He has designed few buildings outside of his home country, and only came to the attention of the powers that be at Serpentine gallery when they encountered him at the Venice Biennale 2011. "Radic ´ is a key protagonist of an amazing architectural explosion in Chile," says director of the Serpentine Galleries Julia Peyton-Jones.

"While enigmatically archaic in the tradition of romantic follies, Radic's designs for the Pavilion also look excitingly futuristic."

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Source: City A.M. (UK)

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