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Due to our specialisation in the design and architectural sectors, we couldn’t resist visiting this year’s Serpentine Pavilion in the Kensington Gardens of London.
Frida Escobedo, a Mexican architect, was commissioned to design the Serpentine Pavilion 2018 and has created a stunning enclosure that cleverly plays on the interaction between natural materials, time and space.
Frida Escobedo is famous for her work in urban reactivation, which ranges from housing and community centres to hotels and galleries. Her Serpentine Pavilion combines the domestic architecture of Mexico, which frequently features internal courtyards, with British materials and history, specifically the Prime Meridian line at London’s Royal Observatory in Greenwich.
The outer walls of Escobedo’s Pavilion face the Serpentine Gallery’s eastern façade, but the internal courtyard is on a pivoted axis, aligning with the Prime Meridian line. The materials, chosen for their dark colour and textured surfaces, have been constructed into a lattice of cement roof tiles creating a traditional Mexican-style breeze wall that diffuses the view out into the park. Escobedo has exaggerated the effects of this structure with mirrored ceilings and a triangular pool within the enclosed courtyard. This intricate combination of light, water, and geometry transforms the space into a vibrant blur of green and blue from with the enclosure.
Her innovative use of mirrors and water emphasises the movement of light and shadow within the Pavilion. The sun is reflected and refracted by these features, heightening one’s sense of time, which is chartered by amplified shadows within the enclosed courtyard.
Escobedo has transformed the Pavilion into a building that expresses time through architecture, combining Mexican architectural inspiration with everyday British materials. Due to its connection to the Prime Meridian line, this pioneering project is inseparable from London as a city itself. We highly recommend giving it a visit!