The Serpentine Pavilion has become one of London’s leading summer attractions since launching in 2000. Last year’s cloud-like structure by Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto within the city’s Kensington Gardens was visited by almost 200,000 people. In March, Serpentine Galleries Director Julia Peyton-Jones and Co-Director Hans Ulrich Obrist announced their selection of Chilean architect Smiljan Radić to design the 2014 edition of the temporary construction. A 2008 Architectural Record Vanguard, the architect may not be as well-known as some of his pavilion-designer predecessors – which include Rem Koolhaas, Frank Gehry, Peter Zumthor, Alvaro Siza, and Toyo Ito – but, according to the curators, “Radić is a key protagonist of an amazing architectural explosion in Chile.”
Occupying a footprint of some 3,700 square feet, Radić’s semi-translucent, cylindrical structure was designed to resemble a shell, resting on large quarry stones. Its flexible, multi-purpose social space features a café. The Pavilion’s four-month tenure in the park began on June 26. RECORD spoke with Radić about the honor.