The Serpentine Gallery Pavillion 2010

This opened on the 13th of July with the Architect Jean Nouvel for this years pavillion giving a talk about his design.

The main thing to say about it is a very nice idea that has been poorly executed.  I will admit that i was a bit sceptical when i saw the renders of it, but i was willing to give it a chance.

When i saw it for the first time i was impressed at how it looked and how suprisingly well the red complimented the mostly green landscape around it.

The inspiration for the red colour comes from  british design icons such as London Buses andRoyal Mail post boxes.   The main idea behind it was to create a versatile and very useable space, i think he has done this  has  been done very well.

The dissapointing thing with this building is that on closer inspection the details of the building are clunky and also appear to have been rushed. It very much looks like the contractor ran out of time and everything was a little bit last minute. It just did not have the crisp smooth feel of SANAA’s pavillion last year, and as Mies Van Der Rohe famously said ‘god is in the details’.

I am sure it will prove very popular, as the space is very verastile and provides facilites for plenty of activities such as table tennis and and chess.

Maybe i am being too over critical, but for me the most important thing when designing a building is the little details. This is so that when you do get close up to it it still looks very good. This is only my opinion so go and check it out for yourself and let me know what you think!

Admission to the Pavilion is free
Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2010
by Jean Nouvel
July – October 2010

Serpentine Gallery
Kensington Gardens
London W2 3XA
T 020 7402 6075

Nearest Tube: South Kensington or Lancaster Gate
Gallery open 10am to 6pm daily.

Images courtesy of  http://www.serpentinegallery.org

1:1 Architects Build Small Spaces

This exhibiton at the V&A is different from others. It makes people interact with real functioning  Architecture rather than just models, drawings and images.  In all there are 7 built peices by 7 different Architects spread across different levels of the museum. Each exhibit is vastly different to the last.

All of the exhibits are excellent bar one, which was the Ratatosk by Helen and Hard Architects. I found this to be more like a sculpture and quite uninspiring. The 2 pieces for me that stood out the most were In-Between Architecture by Studio Mumbai and Spiral Booths by Vazio S/A.

Sprial Booths is constructed mainly of steel and glass. It consists of a steel stair in the middle with different compartments coming off of it at different levels which face out into the main gallery space. These rooms are sectioned off by red velour curtains. So when it is viewed from the gallery floor it is something akin to to the red light district in Amsterdam. The structure is encased in a perforated steel mesh, so you can get a glimpse of what is going on inside inbetween the windows. This draws you towards it and makes you want to go in and find out what the space is about.

Spiral Booths

In-between Architecture is based on the tight narrow ‘unauthorised’ streets of Mumbai. These are streets that have developed without Architects in the slums and made from any scrap material that could be found. These slums draw in light from above, which is exactly what the exhibit does. It consists of a tight narrow corridor that opens up into a courtyard with spaces upstairs for contemplation and thought. We could not get into this one properly as it was closed for repairs, but we did sneak in for a couple of photos when nobody was looking! I may have to go back and check it out properly though.

In-Between Architecture

I also think it is worth mentioning Ark by Rintala Eggertsson Architects. It is like a giant piece of Ikea furniture, made out of pine and balsawood the shelves are stacked with thousands of books  it also  rather worringly sways back and forth as you get towards the top, but the space itself feels warm and intimate.

This is an exhibiton well worth visiting if you have the time, it is very comprehensive and also includes information on all of the submissions that did not get built, some of which are also quite fantastic. So run along as there is plenty of time to do so!  I have no idea what i am going to do next!

Until next time!

All the information on each of the exhibits can be found here:

http://www.vam.ac.uk/collections/architecture/smallspaces/exhibition/Built%20Structures/index.html

The Exhibition runs until the 30th of August

Opening Times: 10.00 to 17.45 daily
10.00 to 22.00 Fridays

Nearest Tube: South Kensington

All images courtesy of www.vam.ac.uk