Wednesday, 24 March 2010

'French architect to design Serpentine's summer pavilion'

'The Serpentine Gallery has had pavilions shaped like shiny amoeba, a storm in a timber factory and a giant spinning top.

The tenth in the gallery's series of temporary summer buildings will be a bright red structure with a built-in outdoor table tennis table by French architect Jean Nouvel.

... Nouvel was the definitive enfant terrible of architecture in the Eighties and Nineties, coming from a world of French critical theory and conceptual art. From early radical experiments, he has developed into one of the half dozen or so global architecture stars.

He keeps the image up, only wearing black (complete with fedora), except for a month in summer, when he holidays dressed entirely in white.

His proposed pavilion just about achieves the spectacle demanded by the programme, but the images are not totally convincing... The ubiquitous redness is described by the gallery as provoking a "play of opposites".

But Nouvel just loves the colour. The shiny red underside of his extention to the Reina Sofia museum in Madrid or his kilometre-long red wall for the Brembo Corporation in northern Italy testify to this love affair."