LOS ANGELES – The radiant colors and the play of lights and shadows of the Serpentine Pavilion, designed by Spanish architectural design studio SelgasCano, will begin on Thursday illuminating the summer in Los Angeles, where the contemporary art creation will be on display until late November.
The National History Museum of Los Angeles County and Social Home, a company devoted to “social business,” have joined forces with SelgasCano to temporarily move the Serpentine Pavilion, which was created in 2015 to be exhibited in London, to the La Brea Tar Pits, an active Ice Age fossil site well-known for being located in downtown Los Angeles.
Excited and not hiding the “pride” they feel over the public acceptance and success their work is having, architects Jose Selgas and Lucia Cano on Thursday told EFE about the special nature of the Serpentine pavilions.
“It’s a commission that the Serpentine Gallery in Hyde Park in London does (each summer). Ours was number 15 and the commission, theoretically, is given to architects they consider to be the best known or the most interesting,” Selgas said.
“For a time, those who truly had more renown were doing it, but two or three years before ours they began giving it to people a little younger, and I think a little more experimental ... It’s one of London’s architectural events and I think also on the world level,” he added.
The innovative design created by SelgasCano arises from the classic idea of a pavilion, providing a space with several entrances but without a clear or specific pathway through that space, marked by polyhedral figures and the absence of symmetries, where striking colors and contrasts of lights and shadows ... stand out and promise to cause a local sensation.
“It’s a formal and visual experiment. How you see the mixture of colors, how it plays with the shadows ... It’s like a kaleidoscope where, depending on your position, you see completely different figures and different colors,” said Cano, directing the visitor’s glance to a central point in the work.
The pavilion is an X-shaped structure consisting of four brightly colored translucent tunnel-like pathways through which visitors can stroll.
“In this pavilion the route is very important because people can move through it in different ways and lose themselves a bit in it,” since it’s a single piece and not very large,” Selgas said.
The playful aspect of the pavilion is one of its key features, and it uses a plastic called EFTE, which is very fire-resistant and especially useful in building public structures.
Another noteworthy factor that the architects pointed out was the relationship between the Serpentine Pavilion and its natural surroundings.
“We really don’t understand architecture without nature. Architecture is part of the landscape and nature is the most important thing we have. ... In this case, this pavilion is designed to be in a park and I think that it works by counterposition: It’s a very artificial element that empowers the natural surroundings it has,” Cano said.
The pavilion will be open to the public in Los Angeles until Nov. 24, during which time a number of free live events focusing on diversity and entrepreneurship, the future of Los Angeles and other topics have been planned.