City of Sound is about cities, design, architecture, music, media, politics and more. Written by Dan Hill since 2001.

It’s a near-obligatory post for a London-based architecture-orientated blog: photos of the collaboration between Rem Koolhaas, Cecil Balmond and Arup for this year’s Serpentine Pavilion.

Generally very impressed. Conversations with Paul Schütze and Pete Besley both made me realise why I find Koolhaas’s work interesting: it’s his pathological and ongoing inability to typecast himself in predictable forms and restrict himself to particular approaches. I think this is partly due to his refusal to take a building on unless OMA and Arup get to deal with the context of the structure; the function of the building; the entire programme, in architect-speak. Therefore the integration of a fascinating-looking 24-hour interview marathon, Thomas Demand’s wallpaper’d installation, as well as the interior of black foam seats which can be shifted around the café at the user’s whim. Good details.

"Rem Koolhaas said: "The 2006 Serpentine Pavilion will be defined by events and activities. We are proposing a space that facilitates the inclusion of individuals in communal dialogue and shared experience."

And Balmond and Arup have done their now-expected miraculous engineering in creating a unique structure in which the ‘roof’, for want of a better word, floats freely from the base. Quite lovely.

Cecil Balmond said: "These Pavilions have evolved with various structural typologies and materials, provoking a debate on architecture; this year the exploration continues not only with typology and material but with the very definition of Pavilion."

In the Serpentine Gallery proper, there’s a show by Thomas Demand which is quite amazing. Rod McLaren has a good write-up of that, and the pavilion. The pavilion was very full, and being appreciated, on the sunny day we visited – lots of looking up through the bubble (but not quite awe-struck.) More on the pavilion, including construction photos, here.

Pictures of the pavilion after the jump, or the full set here (Flickr’d photos tagged ‘serpentinepavilion’ here.) And there’s another summer pavilion up at the moment too.









2 responses to “Koolhaas/Balmond/Arup Serpentine Pavilion, 2006”

  1. Rob Avatar
    to me, to you

    Will be trying a little blog entry myself shortly.


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