Jean Nouvel’s Pavilion at The Serpentine Gallery is the 10th commission in the annual series. The architect drew inspiration from Jean Boudrillard’s photographs of Jardins du Luxembourg; a vision of landscape seen through red transparencies.
The vivid red colour reflects those iconic images of traditional telephone boxes, post boxes and London buses. “The colour of English roses, of ripe fruit and of Summer” Jean Nouvel explained “Theatre; the pavilion of red sun; a freedom statement”.
We, the laydeez of Big Red London, were enchanted by this synchronicity with the realisation of our own, big red London vision. All the white men wearing linen suits and round spectacles nodded, murmuring their approval.
“A pavilion linked to an ephemeral attitude. A light, aluminium structure with curtains and these are linked to the wind. With red mirrors, to view as reflection. At night, spots with red and green filters illuminate but with not too much light. There is a sense of mystery in the shadows. Every hour has a different spirit.”
This pavilion is all about play, with four ping-pong tables outside, where you can otherwise relax in one of several low-slung hammocks. Inside, a café and a bar, with backgammon and chess boards. The Pavilion is also the venue for Park Nights, the Serpentine Gallery Summer programme of public talks and events.
“I tried to do a gift” explained Monsieur Nouvel “But I am not sure that my gift will be so agreeable to everyone. I did my best”
In October, the Serpentine Pavilion will be sold and taken away to be reassembled elsewhere. For now, it is our very favourite place in London town. All of us at Big Red London say a sincere “merci beaucoup, Monsieuer Nouvel” for this gorgeous gift.
Serpentine Gallery is in Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park. Go and play at the pavilion!