Renowned architect Yona Friedman was commissioned to design the Summer House as a unique element of the Serpentine’s Architecture Programme in 2016. Known for his innovative theories and revolutionary approach to urban planning, Friedman employed his distinctive design philosophy to create this Summer House, drawing on principles of mobility, adaptability, and sustainability. The project showcased his groundbreaking ideas in spatial configuration, reflecting both his extensive experience and the ethos of the Serpentine’s program, which seeks to fuse artistic creativity with architectural innovation.
Summer House 2016 by Yona Friedman Technical Information
- Architects: Yona Friedman
- Location: London, England
- Typology: Cultural Architecture / Installation
- Project Year: 2016
- Client: Serpentine Pavilion
- Photographs : © Iwan Baan
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 Photographs
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, 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.