Dutch mountain in London
The Serpentine Gallery has commissioned the Dutch architectural practice MVRDV to design a spectacular Pavilion that will completely cover the entire height and width of the Serpentine Gallery on all four sides throughout the summer of 2005.
The vast grass-covered 'mountain',an extension of the surrounding park of Kensington Gardens will be a landmark visible throughout the city. MVRDV's radical scheme re-invents the concept of a Pavilion. Departing from previous Serpentine Pavilions erected on the Gallery's lawn, their design for 2005 absorbs the Gallery to create a marriage between the Pavilion and the Serpentine's building. All the exhibitions and events during the summer of 2005 have been programmed to complement and explore this relation-ship, providing a completely new experience of the Gallery and the park itself.
The ground-breaking structure will rise to 23.1 metres at its highest point, covering the Serpen-tine's familiar weather vane, and extending the Gallery's footprint to 2,475 square metres. With full disabled access, visitors can climb to the summit via walkways or a passenger hoist, seeing panoramic views of London from viewing platforms along the way.
Inside the 'mountain', a three metre space between the Gallery and the soaring walls of the Pavilion provide a dynamic lobby and meeting area and a view of the magnificent galvanised steel structural frame, weighing 200 tonnes, that supports the structure. Extending out from this area at one side is a large auditorium that will serve as a café by day and a forum for learning and entertainment at night.
MVRDV: The Serpentine Gallery is located in a fenced-off area that constitutes an island in a wider public domain. We link it to its surroundings by literally extending the existing lawns over the Gallery. The proposal adds a recreational hill to the park, which becomes a public highpoint, visible from afar and enabling far-reaching views. Where the park's paths meet the hill, new routes and stairways are created along the flanks of the mount, over alpine meadows to the top and down to the other side.
Construction of MVRDV's design begins in late 2004 for opening in Spring 2005.