Architecture, Frida Escobedo, London, Pavilion, Serpentine Pavilion

Frida Escobedo designs latticed courtyard for the 2018 Serpentine Pavilion

Mexican architect Frida  Escobedo has revealed the design of this year’s Serpentine Pavilion which opened to the public on 15 June, featuring an enclosed courtyard with latticed walls made using stacked concrete tiles.


Photography by Iwan Baan.

The pavilion also features a curving mirrored ceiling as well as a pool of water, created as a reinterpretation of the ‘celosia’ –  a vernacular architecture native to Mexico, but using concrete roof tiles that have been manufactured in the UK. The tiles have been stacked forming perforated structures that allow in light and breeze, as well as providing decorative details at the corners.

Coupled with the pool of water and mirrored ceiling, giving way to a series of distorted reflections.

Structurally, the pavilion is made up of two overlapping rectangles, where one runs parallel with the Serpentine Gallery located behind, while the second runs parallel to the Prime Meridian, the longitudinal axis established in Greenwich, used to measure time worldwide.

The architect wanted to create a structure that referenced London, her home-country of Mexico (the courtyard is typical of Mexican architecture), but also design it be to “spaceless”, as the pavilion will later be moved to a as-of-now, unknown location.

The pavilion is open to the public until 7 October 2018, and contains a cafe, as well as hosting a number of art, architecture, music, film, and dance events.

Escobedo, 38, has become the youngest and the 18th architect to design the pavilion. She is also the first solo female architect to have taken on the project since Zaha Hadid in 2000.

Previous Serpentine Pavilions include Francis Kere’s tree-shaped pavilion, BIG’s unzipped structure, and SelgasCano’s playful interpretation.

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