Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2008

by | 24. Jul 2012

Feature | Pavilions

Photo: Nigel Carr

The 2008 Serpentine Pavilion is Frank Gehry’s first built structure in England, and also the first time he collaborated with his son Samuel Gehry.

The structure is anchored by four massive steel columns and is comprised of large timber planks and a complex network of overlapping glass planes that create a dramatic, multi-dimensional space.

Photo: Nigel Carr

Gehry and his team took inspiration for this year’s Pavilion from a fascinating variety of sources including the elaborate wooden catapults designed by Leonardo da Vinci as well as the striped walls of summer beach huts. Part amphitheatre, part promenade, these seemingly random elements will make a transformative place for reflection and relaxation by day, and discussion and performance by night.

Photo: Nigel Carr
Photo: Nigel Carr
Photo: Nigel Carr

The Pavilion is designed as a wooden timber structure that acts as an urban street running from the park to the existing Gallery. Inside the Pavilion, glass canopies are hung from the wooden structure to protect the interior from wind and rain and provide for shade during sunny days. The Pavilion is much like an amphitheater, designed to serve as a place for live events, music, performance, discussion and debate.

As the visitor walks through the Pavilion they have access to terraced seating on both sides of the urban street. In addition to the terraced seating there are five elevated seating pods, which are accessed around the perimeter of the Pavilion. These pods serve as visual markers enclosing the street and can be used as stages, private viewing platforms and dining areas.

/Frank Gehry

Photo: Nigel Carr
Photo: Nigel Carr
Photo: Nigel Carr
Photo: Nigel Carr
Photo: Nigel Carr

The Serpentine Gallery Pavilion series, now entering its ninth year, is the world’s first and most ambitious architectural programme of its kind, and is one of the most anticipated events in the international design calendar.

The Pavilion is a fully accessible public space in the Royal Park of Kensington Gardens, attracting up to 250,000 visitors every Summer and is accompanied by an ambitious programme of public talks and events.

The Pavilion will be on view through October 19, 2008.

Model photo courtesy Gehry Partners, LLP
Model photo courtesy Gehry Partners, LLP


COUNTRYUnited Kingdom
ARCHITECTGehry Partners, LLP