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    BIG unveils ‘unzipped’ wall for 2016 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion

    Nathan Johnson

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    Bjark Ingels Group (BIG) have unveiled the design for this year’s Serpentine Gallery Pavillion in London which for the first time will also feature four smaller "summer houses" designed  by Kunlé Adeyemi - NLÉ, Barkow Leibinger, Yona Friedman and Asif Khan.

    BIG’s pavilion will appear as an ‘unzipped wall’ that transforms from straight line at its entry into a three-dimensional space at its rear. It was developed from the starting point of a single brick wall, which then ‘unzips’ to create the internal space for the pavilion's program. It will be made from a series of box-like fibreglass frames stacked on top of each other, in a pattern based on a common brick wall.

    "We have attempted to design a structure that embodies multiple aspects that are often perceived as opposites," explains BIG in their description of the design.

    “A structure that is free-form yet rigorous, modular yet sculptural, both transparent and opaque, both solid box and blob."

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    Images: BIG

    As mentioned, this year the Serpentine gallery will also host four smaller "summer houses" alongside the designed Pavilion, each will be 25sqm and  take inspiration from Queen Caroline's Temple, a small, classical summer house near to the gallery that was built in 1734.

    Designs and descriptions of 2016 Serpentine Gallery Summer Houses courtesy of Serpentine Gallery: 

    Summer house design by Kunlé Adeyemi - NLÉ

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    Images: NLÉ

    Kunlé Adeyemi’s Summer House is an inverse replica of Queen Caroline’s Temple - a tribute to its robust form, space and material, recomposed into a new sculptural object.


    Summer house design by Barkow Leibinger

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    Images: Barkow Leibinger

    Barkow Leibinger were inspired by another, now extinct, 18th Century pavilion also designed by William Kent, which rotated and offered 360 degree views of the Park. 


    Summer house design by Yona Friedman. Image: Aecom

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    Images: Aecom

    Yona Friedman’s Summer House takes the form of a modular structure that can be assembled and disassembled in different formations and builds upon the architect’s pioneering project La Ville Spatiale (Spatial City) begun in the late 1950s.


    Summer house design by Asif Khan. Image: Asif Khan

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    Images: Asif Khan

    Asif Khan’s design is inspired by the fact that Queen Caroline’s Temple was positioned in a way that would allow it to catch the sunlight from The Serpentine lake. 

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