Serpentine Pavilion unveiled

London’s Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, the ambitious building designed by Olafur Eliasson and Norwegian architect Kjetil Thorsen, opens today.

The timber-clad pavilion is ringed by a wide, spiralling ramp that makes two complete turns. It then ascends from the gallery lawn to the seating area, before culminating at its highest point in a view across Kensington Gardens.

Exploring the principle of vertical circulation within a single space, the aim is for a departure from the single-level pavilion structure by adding a third dimension of height.

The interior is illuminated by daylight drawn through the oculus in the roof and is marked by geometric patterns in the wall surface and seating areas.

The pavilion will host a Friday night programme of artists, architects and scientists. Launching on 31 August, the programme culminates in November, when the structure will be taken off-site.

The Serpentine Gallery Pavilion commission, now in its eighth year, is an ongoing programme of landmark temporary structures by architects and artists that have included Daniel Libeskind, Rem Koolhaas and Cecil Balmond.

Each pavilion project takes around six months from commission to completion.

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