Swiss architects get Serpentine commission

Basel-based architects Herzog & de Meuron are to design this year’s Serpentine Gallery pavilion in London, regarded as a major event in the art world.

This content was published on February 7, 2012 and agencies

In the year when the Olympic Games come to London, they will be repeating their collaboration with Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, with whom they worked on the prize-winning stadium in Beijing for the 2008 Olympics.

The project is part of the cultural programme accompanying the Games, and is due to be erected in June.

The team has already revealed a few of the details of their plans for the pavilion. It will have a low platform roof, 12 symbolic columns and a means to collect rainwater and reflect the sky.

"Taking an archaeological approach, this year’s Pavilion will take visitors beneath the Serpentine’s lawn to explore the hidden history of its previous Pavilions," a statement on the architects' website says.

In a joint statement the three men described it as “the perfect place to sit, stand, lie down, or just look and be amazed”.

It is the 12th temporary pavilion to be commissioned by the gallery. Last year it was designed by another Swiss architect, Peter Zumthor. Architects who have designed them in the past include Zaha Hadid, Daniel Libeskind, Oscar Niemeyer, Rem Koolhaas, Frank Gehry and Jean Nouvel.

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