Seeing red

Bucking this year’s domestic interiors trend for soothing, recession-friendly hues of green and blue, French architect Jean Nouvel has created a vibrant blood-red beast in London’s Serpentine Gallery Pavilion.

The pavilion, which opens to the public tomorrow, has been constructed of a contrast of lightweight materials and industrial structures and its intense red colour is supposedly inspired by London’s telephone boxes, post boxes and buses.

Speaking at the unveiling Nouvel said, ‘When I see the red sun through the ceiling I am happy. The red for me was the idea of something very strong, energetic and optimistic and also complementary because the green, you can see that around.’

Energetic it might be, but it hasn’t stopped commentators remarking on the shock of being inside the sanguine sculpture. The Beeb’s arts editor Will Gompertz hit the nail on the head when saying that entering the pavilion is ‘like being stuck in a deep wound’ – a premonition perhaps of the drastic cuts that will no doubt soon be made to Government arts funding.

Following a promising weather forecast for the weekend, many visitors will be able see for themselves the red sun that makes Nouvel so cheery. If you can wait until Monday, Nouvel himself will be giving a free talk about his inspiration and the challenges of the project from 5pm inside the structure.

The pavilion will be on show until October at the Serpentine Gallery, Kensington Gardens, London W2.

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