NG Bailey, the UK’s largest independent building services contractor, has been unveiled as a sponsor of the 2010 Serpentine Gallery - as it celebrates its 40th anniversary.
This year the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, in Kensington Gardens, is designed by world-renowned French architect Jean Nouvel. This is the 10th commission in the Gallery’s annual architectural series, the world’s first and most ambitious programme of its kind. It will be the architect’s first completed building in the UK.
The design for the 2010 Pavilion is a contrast of lightweight materials and dramatic metal cantilevered structures. The entire design is rendered in a vivid red that, in a play of opposites, contrasts with the green of its park setting. The colour reflects the iconic British images of traditional telephone boxes, post boxes and London buses.
The building consists of bold geometric forms, large retractable awnings and a freestanding wall that climbs 12m above the lawn, sloping at a gravity defying angle. Striking glass, polycarbonate and fabric structures create a versatile system of interior and exterior spaces. NG Bailey’s element of the project has involved the installation of the building’s services and CCTV infrastructure. This has been done in such a fashion as to support the architectural vision where desired and to remain invisible where required.
Around the Pavilion, Nouvel has created spaces for outdoor enjoyment and play, bringing the tradition of French civic parks to London. Red table tennis tables, draughts, chess, frisbees and kites will be available for the public to play with throughout the summer months.
Nouvel’s body of work is unparalleled in its innovation and range. His approach is characterised by a conceptual rigour, rather than by an overarching aesthetic. He emphasises research, analysis and discussion, creating designs that are highly individual to each project. A key part of Nouvel’s process is his embrace of other disciplines, including music, literature and the moving image.
Jean Nouvel has worked with the structural design and engineering firm Arup, led by David Glover and Ed Clark with Cecil Balmond, to realise this project.
Julia Peyton-Jones, Director, and Hans Ulrich Obrist, Co-Director, Serpentine Gallery, said: ‘We could not be more thrilled that Jean Nouvel has designed the 10th Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, the only commission of its kind worldwide that annually invites pre-eminent architects to complete their first built structure in England. It is an honour to bring Nouvel’s globally acclaimed work to London for everyone to enjoy.’
There is no budget for the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion commission. It is paid for by sponsorship, sponsorship help-in-kind and the sale of the finished structure, which does not cover more than 40 per cent of its cost. The Serpentine Gallery collaborates with a range of companies and individuals whose support makes it possible to realise the Pavilion.