Tara on Gehry's Serpentine pavilion

In the late summer of 2008 Frank Gehry was the ninth architect commissioned to design a pavilion for the Serpentine Gallery in London. This temporary structure uniquely allows the public to enjoy a theatrical performance, a political debate or simply outdoor dining. Inspired by wooden catapults and striped walls of beach huts, Gehry’s pavilion is grounded by four steel columns and primarily comprised of timber planks and overlapping glass panes. The transparent canopy creates an interior space that seamlessly connects to the natural landscape while providing the visitor a protective respite from inclement weather. Additionally, the layered seating arrangement encourages communal interaction or quiet solitude, depending on the visitor’s need. The structure’s glass panels mirror the gallery’s fa├žade as if giving a hint of the permanent architecture without creating a replica. I can only imagine how the interplay of light and shadow change the feel and appearance of the space as the sun sets. Gehry describes his work as “an urban street running from park to Gallery.” Like a street, this pavilion is a busy pathway that directs the visitor to an end point, the gallery’s entrance, yet it also becomes a destination that welcomes human interaction or voyeurism.

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