Entertainment & Arts

Serpentine Pavilion to be 'alien space pod'

An artist's impression of Smiljan Radic's Pavilion structure Image copyright Serpentine
Image caption An impression of Smiljan Radic's Pavilion structure from the outside

A structure resembling an "alien space pod" designed by Chilean architect Smiljan Radic is to be the Serpentine Galleries' Pavilion this year.

The translucent, shell-like structure resting on boulders, will be placed on the lawn of the London gallery from 26 June to 19 October.

The building will house a cafe and also be the venue for the Serpentine's annual Park Nights series of events.

The first Pavilion was designed by Zaha Hadid in 2000.

Ai Weiwei, Oscar Niemeyer and Jean Nouvel are among the other artists and designers who have previously been commissioned to create the temporary space in Kensington Gardens.

According to the Serpentine, the annual attraction has drawn some 300,000 visitors every year.

Radic's building, which will occupy 350 sq m (3,767 sq ft), is designed to draw visitors inside during its four-month life and encourage them to interact with the space in different ways.

Image copyright Serpentine
Image caption The inside of the structure will be a place for visitors to interact
Image copyright Serpentine
Image caption A night-time view of the Serpentine Pavilion

The architect, whose work is largely found in Chile, said the fibreglass shell will "house an interior organised around an empty patio, from where the natural setting will appear lower, giving the sensation that the entire volume is floating".

He added it will have an amber-tinted light at night, "attracting the attention of passers-by, like lamps attracting moths".

Interviewed in the Guardian, Radic said he was interested in fragile, temporary structures like roadside stalls.

The 48-year-old added: "They are taking a big risk by choosing me. I'm not inside the common place of the architect.

"It is really hard for me to do something so fast. But risks can be exciting."

The article also described how the model for his Pavilion building was created using a cow's udder stuffed with newspaper.

Julia Peyton-Jones, director of the Serpentine, called Radic's design "excitingly futuristic".

She added it "appears like an alien space pod that has come to rest on a Neolithic site".

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