2014 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion - External indicative CGI
© 2014 Smiljan Radic Studio 2014 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion - External indicative CGI


For more than a decade, the Serpentine Gallery in London has commissioned architects across the globe to design a summer pavilion. This year's pavilion, the museum announced Wednesday, will be designed by Chilean architect Smiljan Radic, Hon. AIA, and opens on June 26.

Since Zaha Hadid, Hon. FAIA, designed the first pavilion back in 2000, the aesthetic has ebbed from the complex to the streamlined. Compared to some of the structures that would come later (see Frank Gehry's below), Hadid's project was relatively simple, dividing the roughly 6,400-square-foot space under a steel frame roof formed with slanting triangles.

Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2000, designed by Zaha Hadid
© 2000 Hélène Binet Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2000, designed by Zaha Hadid


In 2001, Daniel Libeskind, AIA, partnered with Arup to create "Eighteen Turns."

Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2001 - "Eighteen Turns" - Designed by Daniel Libeskind with Arup
© 2001 Hélène Binet Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2001 - "Eighteen Turns" - Designed by Daniel Libeskind with Arup


The following year, Japanese architect Toyo Ito, Hon. FAIA, Cecil Balmond, and Arup constructed a roughly 3,330-square-foot, steel-frame structure with sharp slices of solid and transparent walls.

Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2002, designed by Toyo Ito and Cecil Balmond with Arup
© 2002 Sylvain Deleu Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2002, designed by Toyo Ito and Cecil Balmond with Arup


The late Oscar Niemeyer used steel, aluminum, glass, and concrete for his 2003 pavilion design.

Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2003, designed by Oscar Niemeyer
© 2003 Sylvain Deleu Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2003, designed by Oscar Niemeyer


There was no constructed pavilion in 2004. Dutch firm MVRDV designed a structure that would have enclosed the typical pavilion area as well as the museum buildings—too tricky a task, it turned out.

In 2005, Álvaro Siza, Hon. FAIA,* Eduardo Souto de Moura, Hon. FAIA, and Balmond created a grid-inspired timber structure.

Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2005, designed by Álvaro Siza, and Eduardo Souto de Moura with Cecil Balmond / Arup
© 2005 James Winspear/VIEW Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2005, designed by Álvaro Siza, and Eduardo Souto de Moura with Cecil Balmond / Arup


Breaking from the right-angles of the years past, Rem Koolhaas, Hon. FAIA,* Balmond, and Arup installed a glowing orb structure slightly resembling a hot-air balloon in 2006.

Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2006, designed by Rem Koolhaas and Cecil Balmond, with Arup
© 2006 John Offenbach Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2006, designed by Rem Koolhaas and Cecil Balmond, with Arup


German artist Olafur Eliasson and Kjetil Thorsen of Snøhetta designed the 2007 pavilion, which the gallery compares to a "spinning top."

Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2007, designed by Olafur Eliasson & Kjetil Thorsen
© 2007 Luke Hayes/VIEW Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2007, designed by Olafur Eliasson & Kjetil Thorsen


The 2008 steel, timber, and glass pavilion by Frank Gehry, FAIA, was the L.A. architect's first constructed project in England.

Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2008, designed by Frank Gehry
© 2008 John Offenbach Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2008, designed by Frank Gehry


The structure installed in 2009 by SANAA's Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa seemed harken back to the single-story, simplified structures of the earlier pavilions. The reflective aluminum roof, says the gallery website, was similar to "a reflective cloud or a floating pool of water."

Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2009, designed by Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa of SANAA
© 2009 James Newton/VIEW Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2009, designed by Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa of SANAA


While SANAA's structure let the elements dominate, the 2010 pavilion by Jean Nouvel, Hon. FAIA, seemed to do the opposite. The bright red glass, polycarbonate, fabric, and metal structure resembled nothing found in nature.

Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2010, designed by Jean Nouvel
© 2010 Philippe Ruault Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2010, designed by Jean Nouvel


The concept for the 2011 pavilion by Peter Zumthor, Hon. FAIA,* was "hortus conclusus," or interior garden closed off from the outside, which Piet Oudolf designed.

Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2011, designed by Peter Zumthor
© 2011 Hufton & Crow/VIEW Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2011, designed by Peter Zumthor


In 2012, Herzog & de Meuron with artist Ai Weiwei used cork to design a structure submerged below ground like an archaeological dig, where it highlighted past pavilions.

Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2012 by Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei
Iwan Baan Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2012 by Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei


In perhaps the most abstract pavilion to date, Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto used white steel poles last summer to create his structure of straight lines that nonetheless melded into a soft 3,800-square-foot whole.

Iwan Baan


View more details and images of the Serpentine Gallery's Pavilions in ARCHITECT's Project Gallery.

*This post has been updated to reflect that Álvaro Siza, Rem Koolhaas, and Peter Zumthor are Hon. FAIA.