Mexican architect Frida Escobedo has been commissioned to design the Serpentine Pavilion 2018. The annual commission sees an architect who has yet to build in England given the means to design and build a pavilion that sits in the grounds of the Serpentine Gallery in London’s Hyde Park. Frida is the 18th and youngest ever architect to accept the invitation to build.
“Escobedo’s pavilion will take the form of an enclosed courtyard, comprised of two rectangular volumes positioned at an angle. While the outer walls will be aligned with the Serpentine Gallery’s eastern facade, the axis of the internal courtyard will align directly to the north,” say the organisers. “Internal courtyards are a common feature of Mexican domestic architecture, while the pavilion’s pivoted axis refers to the Prime Meridian, which was established in 1851 at Greenwich and became the global standard marker of time and geographical distance.”
“My design for the Serpentine Pavilion 2018 is a meeting of material and historical inspirations inseparable from the city of London itself and an idea which has been central to our practice from the beginning: the expression of time in architecture through inventive use of everyday materials and simple forms,” says the architect. “For the Serpentine Pavilion, we have added the materials of light and shadow, reflection and refraction, turning the building into a timepiece that charts the passage of the day.”
The pavilion, like the ones that preceded it, will be free to enter and will host a programme of events throughout the summer. Last year’s design by Francis Kéré was visited by more than 200,000 people. Since the Serpentine Pavilion Commission was launched in 2000, it has seen the likes of Zaha Hadid, Frank Gehry, Daniel Libeskind and others design temporary structures for the site.