The Serpentine Gallery, located in the heart of London, presented in 2016 the four outstanding designs for the 2016 Serpentine Summer House, an annual architectural program that celebrates contemporary design. That year’s designs were meticulously crafted by internationally renowned architects Kunlé Adeyemi – NLÉ, Barkow Leibinger, Yona Friedman, the visionary Yona Friedman, and London-based Asif Khan.
The four Summer Houses, each with its own distinctive style and interpretation of the theme, were open to the public in tandem with the grand Serpentine Pavilion 2016, designed by the Danish architectural firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG). The Pavilion and the Summer Houses will together offer an immersive and inspiring architectural experience, engaging visitors in thought-provoking discussions about design, sustainability, and the intersection of art and architecture.
Summer House Pavilion 2016 Technical information
- Architects: Yona Friedman
- Location: London, England
- Typology: Cultural Architecture / Installation
- Project Year: 2016
- Client: Serpentine Pavilion
The Serpentine Summer House is a ‘space-chain’ structure that constitutes a fragment of a larger grid structure, originally conceived for La Ville Spatiale.
– Yona Friedman
Summer House 2016 Renderings
In tandem with the 16th Pavilion in 2016, the Serpentine Galleries has expanded its internationally acclaimed program of exhibiting architecture in a built form by commissioning four architects to each design a 25 sqm Summer House. The four Summer Houses are inspired by the nearby Queen Caroline’s Temple, a classical-style summer house built in 1734 and a stone’s throw from the Serpentine Gallery. In line with the criteria for the selection of the Pavilion architect, each architect chosen by the Serpentine has yet to build a permanent building in England.
Yona Friedman Statment
The proposed Summer House builds upon my project La Ville Spatiale (Spatial City) began in the late 1950s. The manifesto for this project, published in 1959, was based on two pillars or principles: firstly, a mobile architecture that could create an elevated city space and enable the growth of cities while restraining the use of land; secondly, the use of modular structures to allow people to live in housing of their own design.
The Serpentine Summer House is a ‘space-chain’ structure that constitutes a fragment of a larger grid structure, originally conceived for La Ville Spatia/e. This original structure, designed for bearing light loads, consists of 30 cubes measuring 180 x 1.80 x 180 m3, built with metal rings of 1.80 m in diameter and assembled into a skeleton. Some of the cubic voids are enclosed with panels of polycarbonate.
The Summer House is a space-chain construction of 4+ 1 levels. It is composed of cubes defined by 6 circles of 1.85 meters in diameter and made with steel tubes of 16 mm in diameter. The cubes are composed of irregular geometrical shapes that rest on the ground. The Summer House is a modular structure that can be disassembled and assembled in different formations and compositions. In this particular case, it is only the ground level that is accessible to visitors. But with slight technical changes, such as adjusting some of its constituting elements, all levels could be made visible to visitors.
The project is conceived to serve as a multi-level ‘showcase’ for exhibitions. Part of the cubes can support transparent polycarbonate panels, which can be used as showcases containing artworks, plants, or other objects. The Summer House is essentially a movable museum and exhibition.