Inaugurated with a party on June 28, the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2011 officially opens today, and will be visitable until October 16.
Designed by Pritzker Prize winner, Swiss architect Peter Zumthor (who also designed the thermal bath of Vals as well as the Kunsthaus Bregenz), the project centres around the notion of the hortus conclusus, a hidden inner garden, typical of ancient monasteries and medieval convents. The structure encloses a roof-less interior garden, whose project has been conceived by award-winning Dutch landscape designer Piet Oudolf. Different paths, made out of wooden panels, will enable the access to the garden.
The pavilion will also host the famous “Parks Nights,” a program of music, theatre, film, discussions and performances, which will lead to the October Garden Marathon, featuring live presentations by over 50 artists, writers, philosophers, scholars, musicians, architects, designers and scientists.
The Serpentine’s annual Pavilion commission offers a platform for international architects to realize a temporary structure in England. The first pavilion was launched in 2000 by gallerist Julia Peyton-Jones and realized by architect Zaha Hadid. Since then, major worldwide architects such as Alvaro Siza, Daniel Libeskind, Frank Gehry and Jean Nouvel (designer of last year’s pavilion) have been involved into projecting the temporary structure, which marks a big London summer event.