Who's Afraid of Formalism...

authors Herzog & de Meuron, Ai Weiwei
project Serpentine Gallery Pavillion, 2012, London, Great Britain
written by Alan Kostrenčić


Another Serpentine Pavilion. The twelfth. Definitely after so many years (the tradition started in 2000 with the pavilion by Zaha Hadid) the very construction of the pavilion, as well as accompanying cultural events such as intellectual marathons by Hans Urlich Obrist[1], have become institutions in themselves. The list of authors who have tried their skills in providing their vision of the pavilion also includes stars: Daniel Libeskind, Toyo Ito, Oscar Niemeyer, Alvaro Siza and Eduardo Souto de Moura, Rem Koolhaas, Olafur Eliasson and Kjetil Thorsen from Snøhetta, Frank Gehry, Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, Jean Nouvel, and Peter Zumthor. After such a pleiad of authors, the question is whether anything new can be said or more precisely, what more that is new can be said?

[1] Serpentine Gallery Marathon 2006 with Rem Koolhaas; 2007 with Olafur Eliasson