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Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2011

Home > London > Outdoor | Art | Free | Exhibitions | Gardens
by Kat Parr Mackintosh (subscribe)
Young and coffee in varying degrees, Kat also says stuff @ThoroughlyMode
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If you haven't been yet this year, be prepared for something a little more modest than some of the previous pavilions so take a map. The architect behind it is Peter Zumthor, a Swiss designer who favours clean angles, monochrome and modernist detailing. Which you'll not be surprised to hear if you've had a look at the photos before reading this.

It does look like a black box under some trees. So it will definitely attract a lot fewer passers-by than last years big red, shiny playhouse, but it's worth seeking out because inside is a gorgeously peaceful little garden. So it's a garden in a sort of monastery-like structure, in a garden.

I use the phrase monastery-like on purpose, as medieval monasteries were apparently one of the inspirations for the structure. You can see that in the layout: there are four long, narrow, open topped corridors within it. And while you might think the dark walls would be unpleasant in the sun they aren't, they're angled slightly so that one side is always bathed in pleasant light (within environmental reason this is the UK), and one side is nicely shaded. So it's just a really pleasant place to be. At the centre of which is the patch of wild grasses and flowers like a mini-meadow. Which looks as bright green as the square of sky looks bright blue.

So it feels like your own secret little patch of garden in the middle of the city.
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Why? Your own patch of garden in the heart of the city
When: When you need to get back to nature
Where: Hyde Park
Cost: Free
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