First images: Herzog & De Meuron and Ai Weiwei's Serpentine Pavilion

Anna Winston

The disc of Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei’s Serpentine pavilion

First glimpse of controversial pavilion project

The site of this year’s Serpentine Pavilion, designed by Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei, was still teeming with construction workers this morning, just two days before the official opening.

Images show that the low disc structure that forms the ‘floating roof’ over the project’s centrepiece is now in place. It sits on 12 columns, 11 of which will characterise each of the past pavilions.

The roof covers the large hole in the ground that the designers said would collect rainwater and expose the remains of foundations from previous pavilions, although it was later revelaed that those foundations would have to be completely rebuilt to achieve this.

In a BD debate John McAslan defended the design.

“It’s a great idea to uncover something that didn’t exist and, if it had existed, might or might not have been like this,” said McAslan.

“The new pavilion uncovers the ghosts of foundations, in many ways exploring similar themes that have pre-occupied Rachel Whiteread, whose work interrogates negative space, producing a solid cast of the spaces beneath furniture or indeed the spaces within an entire house, in the process creating forms that communicate the the residue of years and years of use.”


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