Toyo Ito – Serpentine Gallery Pavilion – London
Since 2000, the Serpentine Gallery is responsible for commissioning the project each year of a temporary pavilion in Kensington Gardens park famous architects of international reputation. The projects have been implemented since 2000 by Zaha Hadid, following in 2001 by Daniel Libeskind, 2002 Toyo Ito, 2003 Oscar Niemeyer, 2004 MVRDV, 2005 Eduardo Souto de Moura with Cecil Balmond, 2006 Rem Koohlaas with Cecil Balmond, 2007 Olafur Eliasson and Kjetil Thorsen, 2008 Frank Gehry, 2009 Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, 2010 Jean Nouvel and then present the project was awarded to Peter Zumthor.
The pavilion designed by Toyo Ito in 2002 represents a marriage between art and architecture. The intent to abandon the traditional elements for a new conception of space with the desire to interact with its environment and its color, light and the air. The project is based on the idea of “making visible again the systems that make possible the conditions of architecture, but were overshadowed by a rationalism obsessed with uniformity”.
The intent is to provide a space for a cafeteria or for events with a completely free plan, an open space free of columns and orthogonal patterns, a square box with a flat roof supported only by the lateral supports. The materials used for the realization of the pavilion are aluminum and glass. For an overall height of 5,3 m. The hall is on one floor, the floor is made of painted plywood construction, the walls and ceiling panels made of aluminum 3 mm.
The rest of the structure instead is composed of a grid of steel bars flat section covered with aluminum panels and glass. A structure composed of lines which intersect each other in the roof and are connected to other side which act as support for giving compactness to the architecture. Apparently the structure appears not to have a geometric rule that distributes this web of white lines, but in reality everything is based on an algorithm derived from the rotation of a square generating a complex whole.
The idea of using an algorithm, idea of Cecil Belmond group leader of Ove Arup, has created an unpredictable situation and a complex hybrid that are perfectly calculable and manageable: the lines are in fact generated by the algorithm of a cube that expands as wheel by creating a captivating design. The white space makes it totally unspoilt charming the audience for its purity and perfection of colors with the intent to absorb all the surrounding colors, the green grass, the cerulean blue of the sky and the light, allowing the latter to enter the architecture and reflect it through the glass surfaces.