Ai Weiwei and Herzog & de Meuron Will Design This Year’s Serpentine Pavilion


Since launching back in 2000 with Zaha Hadid, the Serpentine Gallery’s annual pavilion series has featured work by some of the most noted architects in the industry — from Oscar Niemeyer to SANAA. Today it was announced that controversial Chinese artist Ai Weiwei will be reteaming with the Swiss architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron (his collaborators on the iconic “Bird’s Nest” stadium in Beijing, pictured here) to create this year’s temporary structure. What can we expect to see in Hyde Park? Their vision calls for “a bowl-shaped auditorium carved into the earth and protected by a flat, circular steel roof raised five feet above ground level.” Supporting that roof will be “columns that thematically echo the designs of the previous eleven pavilions,” as well as a “wild card” column reflecting their own contribution.

“As we dig down into the earth we encounter a diversity of constructed realities such as telephone cables and former foundations,” the trio said in a cryptic statement. “Like a team of archaeologists, we identify these physical fragments as remains of the eleven Pavilions built between 2000 and 2011.” Look for the finished product to open to the public in June, when the Serpentine Gallery will host a major exhibition of Yoko Ono’s work. [via ArtsBeat]