For more than a decade, the Serpentine Gallery in London has commissioned architects across the globe to design a summer pavilion. This year's pavilion, the museum announced Wednesday, will be designed by Chilean architect Smiljan Radic, Hon. AIA, and opens on June 26.
Since Zaha Hadid, Hon. FAIA, designed the first pavilion back in 2000, the aesthetic has ebbed from the complex to the streamlined. Compared to some of the structures that would come later (see Frank Gehry's below), Hadid's project was relatively simple, dividing the roughly 6,400-square-foot space under a steel frame roof formed with slanting triangles.
In 2001, Daniel Libeskind, AIA, partnered with Arup to create "Eighteen Turns."
The following year, Japanese architect Toyo Ito, Hon. FAIA, Cecil Balmond, and Arup constructed a roughly 3,330-square-foot, steel-frame structure with sharp slices of solid and transparent walls.
The late Oscar Niemeyer used steel, aluminum, glass, and concrete for his 2003 pavilion design.
There was no constructed pavilion in 2004. Dutch firm MVRDV designed a structure that would have enclosed the typical pavilion area as well as the museum buildings—too tricky a task, it turned out.
In 2005, Álvaro Siza, Hon. FAIA,* Eduardo Souto de Moura, Hon. FAIA, and Balmond created a grid-inspired timber structure.
Breaking from the right-angles of the years past, Rem Koolhaas, Hon. FAIA,* Balmond, and Arup installed a glowing orb structure slightly resembling a hot-air balloon in 2006.
German artist Olafur Eliasson and Kjetil Thorsen of Snøhetta designed the 2007 pavilion, which the gallery compares to a "spinning top."
The 2008 steel, timber, and glass pavilion by Frank Gehry, FAIA, was the L.A. architect's first constructed project in England.
The structure installed in 2009 by SANAA's Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa seemed harken back to the single-story, simplified structures of the earlier pavilions. The reflective aluminum roof, says the gallery website, was similar to "a reflective cloud or a floating pool of water."
While SANAA's structure let the elements dominate, the 2010 pavilion by Jean Nouvel, Hon. FAIA, seemed to do the opposite. The bright red glass, polycarbonate, fabric, and metal structure resembled nothing found in nature.
The concept for the 2011 pavilion by Peter Zumthor, Hon. FAIA,* was "hortus conclusus," or interior garden closed off from the outside, which Piet Oudolf designed.
In 2012, Herzog & de Meuron with artist Ai Weiwei used cork to design a structure submerged below ground like an archaeological dig, where it highlighted past pavilions.
In perhaps the most abstract pavilion to date, Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto used white steel poles last summer to create his structure of straight lines that nonetheless melded into a soft 3,800-square-foot whole.
*This post has been updated to reflect that Álvaro Siza, Rem Koolhaas, and Peter Zumthor are Hon. FAIA.