With Summer approaching, the hotly anticipated Serpentine Gallery Summer Pavilion 2017 is set to be one of London’s most sought after spaces for outdoor entertaining. Having worked with the Gallery on launch parties for the incredible Pavilions built in 2016 and 2015, Bubble is very much looking forward to the unveiling of this year’s creation on 23 June.
Available for both morning events (8am – 9.30am) and in the evening (from 6.30pm – 10.30pm), the Pavilion is intended to accommodate 250 standing and 64 for seated events (tbc once construction has been completed).
Designed by award-winning architect Diébédo Francis Kéré, the bold structure will bring his characteristic sense of light to the tranquil lawns of Kensington Gardens. Inspired by the tree that serves as a central meeting point for life in his home town of Gando, Francis Kéré has designed a responsive Pavilion that seeks to connect people to nature – and each other.
The Serpentine Gallery Summer Pavilion 2017 will have an expansive roof, supported by a central steel framework, mimicing a tree’s canopy and allowing air to circulate freely while offering shelter against the London rain and Summer heat.
Perfect for events held at the mercy of the British climate, Kéré has created a structure that engages with the ever-changing London weather in creative ways. The Pavilion has four separate entry points with an open air courtyard in the centre, where visitors can sit and relax during sunny days.
In the case of rain, an oculus funnels any water that collects on the roof into a spectacular waterfall effect, before it is evacuated through a drainage system in the floor for later use in irrigating the park.
Both the Pavilion’s roof and wall system are made from wood. By day, they act as solar shading, creating pools of dappled shadows. By night, the walls become a source of illumination as small perforations twinkle with the movement and activity from inside.
Kéré, who leads the Berlin-based practice Kéré Architecture, is the seventeenth architect to accept the invitation to design a Serpentine Gallery Summer Pavilion in its grounds. Since its launch in 2000, this annual commission of an international architect has become one of the most anticipated events in the global cultural calendar and a leading visitor attraction during London’s Summer season.
Kéré’s design follows Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), whose ‘unzipped wall’ structure was visited by more than 250,000 people in 2016, making it one of the most visited Pavilions to date.
Diébédo Francis Kéré said: “As an architect, it is an honour to work in such a grand park, especially knowing the long history of how the gardens evolved and changed into what we see today. Every path and tree, and even the Serpentine lake, were all carefully designed. I am fascinated by how this artificial landscape offered a new way for people in the city to experience nature.
In Burkina Faso, I am accustomed to being confronted with climate and natural landscape as a harsh reality. For this reason, I was interested in how my contribution to this Royal Park could not only enhance the visitor’s experience of nature, but also provoke a new way for people to connect with each other.”
For more information about the Serpentine Gallery Summer Pavilion 2017 or to discuss your next event please contact Bubble’s incredible events team on 020 7703 2653.