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Sneak Preview of Peter Zumthor’s Serpentine Pavilion

Way back in early October of last year, it was announced that 2009 Pritzker winner, Peter Zumthor, had been selected to design this year’s annual temporary Serpentine Gallery Pavilion in London’s Hyde Park. Even with the gallery’s extremely early decision to announce their 2011 pick, we guessed that renderings of the project would be released sometime in early April, if history was any guide. As has now happened, both we and history were correct (congratulations history, you really put in a lot of work and we couldn’t be more proud of you). The gallery has just released a small collection of images to illustrate the architect’s plan, as well as a lengthy explanation of it all. Unlike Jean Nouvel‘s big batch of redness from last year, Zumthor’s is much more quiet and reserved. The architect says that “the concept for this year’s Pavilion is the hortus conclusus, a contemplative room, a garden within a garden,” and that’s exactly what it resembles. A small, rectangular space with an open roof that allows light to help the large collection of flowers at its center to grow. Here’s a bit more description from Zumthor:

The building acts as a stage, a backdrop for the interior garden of flowers and light. Through blackness and shadow one enters the building from the lawn and begins the transition into the central garden, a place abstracted from the world of noise and traffic and the smells of London — an interior space within which to sit, to walk, to observe the flowers. This experience will be intense and memorable, as will the materials themselves — full of memory and time.’

The Pavilion is set to open this July and will run until October.

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