Architectural photographer Iwan Baan gives us a first look of the colorful Serpentine Pavilion 2015 designed by Spanish architects selgascano. selgascano’s design for the 15th Pavilion reveals an amorphous, double-skinned, polygonal structure consisting of panels of a translucent, multi-coloured fluorine-based polymer woven through and wrapped like webbing. 

Visitors can enter and exit the Pavilion at a number of different points, passing through a ‘secret corridor’ between the outer and inner layer of the structure and into the Pavilion’s colourful interior. The architects’ inspiration not only came from the site itself, but from the ways in which people move through London, notably the London Underground with its many-layered, chaotic yet structured flow.


“When the Serpentine invited us to design the Pavilion, we began to think about what the structure needed to provide and what materials should be used in a Royal Park in London.” explained selgascano. “These questions, mixed with our own architectural interests and the knowledge that the design needs to connect with nature and feel part of the landscape, provided us with a concept based on pure visitor experience. We sought a way to allow the public to experience architecture through simple elements: structure, light, transparency, shadows, lightness, form, sensitivity, change, surprise, colour and materials. We have therefore designed a Pavilion which incorporates all of these elements. The spatial qualities of the Pavilion only unfold when accessing the structure and being immersed within it. Each entrance allows for a specific journey through the space, characterised by colour, light and irregular shapes with surprising volumes. This is accomplished by creating a double-layered shell, made of opaque and translucent fluorine- based plastic (ETFE) in a variety of colours.”


“At the heart of the Pavilion is an open space for gathering as well as a café.” say selgascano. “We are also very much aware of the Pavilion’s anniversary in our design for the 15th annual commission. The structure therefore had to be – without resembling previous Pavilions – a tribute to them all and a homage to all the stories told within those designs.” 

On Friday evenings, between July and September, the Pavilion will once again become the stage for the Serpentine’s Park Nights series of live events. The events bring together art, poetry, music, film, literature and theory and include three new major commissions by artists Jesse Darling, Fleur Melbourn and Marianna Simnett.


all images © Iwan Baan