polis: a collective blog about cities worldwide

The Red Sun Pavilion

by Andrew Wade

This evening architect Jean Nouvel introduced his first completed building in the UK, the 2010 Serpentine Pavilion.  Each summer the Serpentine Gallery commissions a prominent architect to design and build a temporary structure in Hyde Park in just six months.  The immediacy, transience and accessibility of the project make it a playground of experimentation and a powerful means of activating this quiet green space in London.  Nouvel's concept of playfulness caused him to introduce ping pong tables, a cinema screen, and tables for chess and backgammon as well as screens and fabrics used as light filters and shelter - all in the same shade of deep red.  Can similar guidelines of immediacy, transience and accessibility be applied in other contexts as a way of catalysing transformation of the urban realm?

Credits: Images of the 2010 Serpentine Pavilion from Andrew Wade.