03. Jul 2015

Subtle lighting for a colourful transparent cocoon

Architects: SelgasCano
Photos: Iwan Baan

The Serpentine Pavilion 2015 was designed by the Madrid-based architects’ firm SelgasCano. A temporary pavilion is set up every year from June to October in Kensington Gardens in London/GB. The 2015 pavilion takes the form of a semi-transparent “chrysalis-like” structure, addressing and merging themes such as light and shadow, transparency, colour, material and form. During the daytime the candy-coloured structure, with its six entrances and a café at its core, is flooded with daylight, which gives rise to a multitude of coloured shadows on the floor of the pavilion. In the evening the cocoon is illuminated subtly from inside and the colourful skin the structure is wrapped in shimmers softly in the landscaped setting.

The skin covering the polygonal steel frame is made up of pieces of different coloured ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) membrane, covered in parts by dichroic foil. Spotlights equipped with frosted lenses gently illuminate the inside of the pavilion. The semi-external areas are also illuminated by IP-rated spotlights with frosted lenses for enhanced glare control. Bollards are used along the paths to support orientation.

A feeling of lightness, coupled with unusual forms and unique light and shadow effects take the visitor entering the pavilion on a truly fanciful journey.


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