We decided to take early advantage of the extra long Jubilee bank holiday weekend and took a cultural detour to the new Serpentine Pavilion, designed by starchitects Herzog & de Meuron in association with Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, the team behind the Bird's Nest Stadium in Beijing.
This years commission used the blueprints for the 11 preceding pavilions as its foundations. Digging down to ground water level, as opposed to building a standard structure above ground, and then lining everything in cork, it has the appearance of an archaeological excavation. The mushroom shaped cork stools feel monumental, as if they were hewn out of the rock. Cool and calm, the experience is in stark contrast to the bright red Jean Nouvel pavilion of 2010.
Unfortunately, Ai Weiwei was unable to attend the opening of his own pavilion due to his being under "city arrest" in Beijing. Dezeen have a video interview with Jacques Herzog at the Pavilion HERE.