Aecom to work on annual Serpentine Pavilion again

19 February 2018 | By James Kenny

Aecom has announced that it will once again be delivering engineering and technical design services for the Serpentine Pavilion in London.

Mexican architect Frida Escobedo has been commissioned to design the pavilion, which will take the form of an enclosed courtyard comprising two rectangular volumes positioned at an angle.

While the outer walls will be aligned with the Serpentine Gallery’s eastern facade, the axis of the internal courtyard will align directly to the north.

Internal courtyards are a common feature of Mexican domestic architecture, while the pavilion’s pivoted axis refers to the Prime Meridian, which was established in 1851 at Greenwich and became the global standard marker of time and geographical distance.

It will also feature a celosia – a traditional breeze wall common to Mexican architecture – which will be composed of a lattice of cement roof tiles that diffuse the view out into the park, transforming it into a vibrant blur of greens and blues.

Two reflecting elements will emphasise the movement of light and shadow inside the pavilion over the course of the day. The curved underside of the canopy will be clad with mirrored panels, and a triangular pool cast into the pavilion floor will trace its boundary directly beneath the edge of the roof, along the north axis of the Meridian.

Aecom will work with the architect, gallery and contractor, Stage One, to develop the concept into a finely detailed construction, ready for the public to enjoy upon opening in June.

Each year, the Serpentine Galleries commissions a different international architect to design a temporary pavilion for the gallery grounds. Last year, Francis Kéré designed the dramatic and colourful tree-like Pavilion, where people could connect with each other and with nature.

Jon Leach, director, buildings + places at Aecom, said: “The serpentine pavilion is always an exciting project to work on, and this year’s design will be no different. As engineers, the key to delivering a successful pavilion is to transform the architect’s vision into a functional space for people to enjoy.

“We look forward to our continued collaboration with Stage One and David Glover as part of the design and delivery process.”

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