From a distance, this year’s Serpentine Pavilion by Mexican architect Frida Escobedo looks a little like a series of dark wickerwork walls, rather than a pavilion. Inside is different, with reflections from the shallow pool of water and from the polished stainless steel ceiling that both protects from the weather and also visually doubles the height of the space.
Escobedo’s design brings the tradition of Mexican courtyard houses to London, using British building materials to create the celosias – traditional walls formed of brick or concrete blocks that allow the air to flow through and connect the inside and outside -, and with lines linking to the Serpentine Gallery and to the Meridian at Greenwich.
Escobedo has already built in London in a small way with a floating changeable pavilion at the Victoria and Albert Museum for the London Design Festival in 2015 inspired by Tenochtitlán, the ancient Aztec city that was built on a lake,
With engineering and technical design services provided by AECOM, the project took just 24 weeks from inception to completion, an astonishing achievement.