Chilean architect Smiljan Radić has unveiled his white, translucent Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2014 at Kensington Gardens in London. The unusual shape and sensual qualities of the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2014 have a strong physical impact on the visitor, especially juxtaposed with the classical architecture of the Serpentine Gallery.
From the outside, visitors see a fragile shell in the shape of a hoop suspended on large quarry stones. Appearing as if they had always been part of the landscape, these stones are used as supports, giving the Pavilion both a physical weight and an outer structure characterised by lightness and fragility.
The shell, which is white, translucent and made of fibreglass, contains an interior that is organised around an empty patio at ground level, creating the sensation that the entire volume is floating. The simultaneously enclosed and open volumes of the structure explore the relationship between the surrounding Kensington Gardens and the interior of the Pavilion. The floor is grey wooden decking, as if the interior were a terrace rather than a protected interior space.
At night, the semi-transparency of the shell, together with a soft amber-tinted light, draws the attention of passers-by like lamps attracting moths.