The Serpentine Gallery has announced its selection for the 18th annual Serpentine Pavilion: Mexican architect Frida Escobedo will design a temporary structure for the gallery’s lawn in London’s Kensington Gardens. Born in 1979, Escobedo is the youngest architect yet to accept the commission.
Renderings of Escobedo’s pavilion show two rectangular volumes with walls formed by a lattice of British-made cement roof tiles. The underside of a thin roof above the walls will be clad in a mirror surface that, together with a triangular pool cast into the pavilion floor, will allow light to bounce throughout the structure. “We have added the materials of light and shadow, reflection and refraction, turning the building into a timepiece that charts the passage of the day,” said the architect.
Escobedo founded her practice in Mexico City in 2006. Urban reactivation is a touchstone of her work, with projects ranging from housing and community centers to arts venues and hotels. “My design is a meeting of material and historical inspirations inseparable from the city of London itself and an idea which has been central to our practice from the beginning,” she said, “the expression of time in architecture through inventive use of everyday materials and simple forms.”
The annual competition, established by the Serpentine Gallery’s co-director Julia Peyton-Jones in 2000, began with a tent-like structure designed by Zaha Hadid, and has since showcased work by top architects including Oscar Niemeyer (2003), Frank Gehry (2008), Jean Nouvel (2010), SelgasCano (2015), Bjarke Ingels Group (2016), and, most recently, Francis Kéré.