Serpentine Galleries celebrates its 15th year Pavilion with a maze that's out of this world

Serpentine Galleries celebrates its 15th year Pavilion with a maze that's out of this world

Time to get lost

Text: Adibah Isa

Image: Iwan Baan

For the 15th anniversary of the Serpentine Galleries' Pavilion, Spanish architects SelgasCano has created a rabbit hole within the Kensington Gardens

The brief: To design the Serpentine Galleries' temporary Pavilion. An annual series open daily in the summer, architects are to design a flexible, multiple-purpose social space with a café in London's Kensington Gardens. This is the Pavilion's 15th anniversary, and the latest installment is particularly hyped.

The architects: José Selgas and Lucía Cano of award-winning Spanish studio SelgasCano. The duo's a natural fit — their own office is in the woods, which align with Serpentine's vision of hosting a lifestyle space in nature. It's the first time a Spanish architecture practice has been tasked to design the Pavilion — previous heavyweights have included Ai Weiwei and Zaha Hadid, who designed the inaugural series in 2000. 

 José Selgas and Lucía Cano

The result: A wormhole of wonder. It's been called many things — an Instagrammer's paradise, a glorified trashbag — but one thing's for sure, it gets people talking. A winding polygonal structure with a double-layered shell, it's made of opaque and translucent fluorine-based plastic (ETFE) in a variety of colours. The opacity of the material across the skin varies as the material is stretched as much as possible. Inspired by how people move through the London underground, panels are woven through and wrapped like webbing. Natural light diffuses through the coloured panels, achieving a stained glass effect.

Why you'll love it: It's interactive art, so you'll get to experience it whichever way you choose. The space unfolds when you access the structure through different entrances, so every journey characterised by colour, light and irregular shapes is different. Decide how you want to move around, and get lost in childhood amazement — it's like being stuck in a kid's indoor playground, on drugs. Instagram opportunities abound.

Why you'll be back: It's a great way to experience the British summer. If anything, you can get a decent cup of coffee there as well. 

The Pavilion at the Serpentine Galleries runs till 18 October. For more information, click here.