Ai Weiwei's Serpentine Pavilion design unveiled
Chinese artist Ai Weiwei's design for a sunken pavilion in the grounds of the Serpentine Gallery in London's Kensington Gardens has been unveiled.
Ai has reunited with Swiss architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, with whom he designed the "Bird's Nest" stadium for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
The pavilion will be the 12th in the annual Serpentine architecture series.
Ai has been working with his partners via Skype. He is fighting tax evasion charges and is unable to leave Beijing.
The new pavilion, which will open for four and a half months from 1 June, will include a circular cork-clad seating area.
The layout of the seating area has been based on the foundations and remnants of the previous 11 pavilions, which were found during an archaeological-style dig.
A statement from Ai, Herzog and de Meuron said the old foundations formed "a jumble of convoluted lines, like a sewing pattern".
"A distinctive landscape emerges out of the reconstructed foundations, which is unlike anything we could have invented," they said.
"Its form and shape is actually a serendipitous gift. The three-dimensional reality of this landscape is astonishing and it is also the perfect place to sit, stand, lie down or just look and be amazed."
Above the sunken area, a disc-like platform will collect rainwater to reflect the skies. It can also be drained to stage performances, such as dance.
The pavilion is part of the London 2012 Festival, an 12-week arts extravaganza to tie in with the Olympic Games.
Steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, who was named Britain's richest man in the recent Sunday Times Rich List, and his wife Usha are lead sponsors of the pavilion.
They have also purchased the sculpture, and it will enter their private collection after it is removed from Kensington Gardens in October 2012.