Pavilions great and small

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Each year the Serpentine Gallery invites an architect to create a summer pavilion that sits alongside the gallery in Hyde Park for four months, providing a social space. This year saw Chilean architect Smiljan Radić take up the challenge, and we love his luminescent cylindrical structure, which resembles a glowing pebble (pictured above).

Speaking about his design, Radic says, ‘the Serpentine 2014 Pavilion is part of the history of small romantic constructions seen in parks or large gardens, the so-called follies, which were hugely popular from the end of the 16th century to the start of the 19th. Externally, the visitor sees a fragile shell suspended on large quarry stones. This shell, white, translucent and made of fibreglass, houses an interior organized around an empty patio, from where the natural setting appears lower, giving the sensation that the entire volume is floating. At night, thanks to the semi-transparency of the shell, the amber tinted light will attract the attention of passers-by like lamps attracting moths.’

Inspired by the innovative design approaches year on year to the Serpentine Pavilion, we have brought together some more weird and wonderful pavilion designs that we are generally in awe of

 Dan Graham’s Pavilion, 2001, & Girls Make-up room, 1998-2000

For fifty years, American artist Dan Graham has made work that is poised between sculpture and architecture. He has been designing glass and mirrored pavilions since the late 1970s, which have been realised in sites across the world. These disorientating structures call to mind the use of reflective glass in the urban environment and highlight the voyeuristic side of design in the built world. Graham himself has described his work as ‘geometric forms inhabited and activated by the presence of the viewer, [producing] a sense of uneasiness and psychological alienation through a constant play between feelings of inclusion and exclusion.’

2 DG
2 DG

MoMA PS1 gallery Pavilion, 2014

For their commission for the 2014 MoMA PS1 gallery pavilion, New York studio The Living created a cluster of circular towers built from bio bricks that were actually grown from corn stalks and mushrooms – taking the concept of organic architecture to its perfect conclusion. Titled Hy-Fi, it was the winning project in the annual Young Architects Program contest, which each year invites emerging architects to propose a temporary structure that will host MoMA Ps1's summer events.

hyfi 4
hyfi 4

Uchronia by Arne Quinze

Uchronia, an art installation at the Burning Man Festival in 2006, was the creation of artist Arne Quinze executed by design group Quinze & Milan and financed by art philosopher Jan Kriekels. The structure was a dizzying mass of wood and fastenings that arched over visitors’ heads, and set the stage for a series of nightly performances during the festival. We think it would fit perfectly within the UAE’s own desert!

QUinze
QUinze

2012 Serpentine Pavilion by Ai Weiwei and Herzog & de Meuron

Another Serpentine Pavilion - for the 2012 structure, Chinese artist Ai Weiwei and Swiss architects, Herzog & de Meuron collaborated to create a pavilion that carved down into the ground rather than growing out of it. Covered by a floating platform roof of water, beneath the designers excavated the layouts of past pavilions and clad the interior in cork to echo the earth.  Through this archeological approach, tracing the ghosts of these past structures, they aimed to reveal the hidden history of the Serpentine Pavilion.

AWW 5
AWW 5
 

Inspirations: Kathryn Wilson at Centurion Star

Last year we installed two of Dubai-based artist Kathryn Wilson's vibrant abstract paintings in the lobbies of the Centurion Star, Dubai’s first freehold commercial property in Deira. Her colourful compositions added a burst of warmth and energy into the light and airy interiors. Wilson has been a resident of the UAE for the last 20 years and her work is strongly influenced by what she sees in her local environment. She is particularly fascinated by society and traditional culture in the more remote areas of the UAE and Oman. She frequently explores the city around her, taking along a camera to document discoveries that she finds inspiring and translating these elements into organic shapes and patterns in her canvases.

Here we take a look at some of Wilson's  photography and inspirations alongside her abstract paintings. For more information on Kathryn Wilson and to see her collection of limited edition prints for Capsule Arts, visit our website.

Clockwise from left: Kathryn Wilson's work installed at Centurion Star; 'Blue Palm', a photograph by Wilson taken in Muscat, Oman, © Kathryn Wilson;  'Omani Door', a photograph by Wilson taken in Dhofar, Oman, © Kathryn Wilson
Clockwise from left: Kathryn Wilson's work installed at Centurion Star; 'Blue Palm', a photograph by Wilson taken in Muscat, Oman, © Kathryn Wilson; 'Omani Door', a photograph by Wilson taken in Dhofar, Oman, © Kathryn Wilson
Clockwise from left: an architectural detail in Oman; one of Kathryn Wilson's paintings at Centurion Star; 'Seeb Beach', a photograph taken by Kathryn Wilson in Muscat, Oman, © Kathryn Wilson
Clockwise from left: an architectural detail in Oman; one of Kathryn Wilson's paintings at Centurion Star; 'Seeb Beach', a photograph taken by Kathryn Wilson in Muscat, Oman, © Kathryn Wilson
Kathryn Wilson with one of her works, available from our online store as a limited edition print
Kathryn Wilson with one of her works, available from our online store as a limited edition print
 

Objects of Desire: Capsule Arts' Lust List

The cover of our favourite new office book, Objects of Desire, Volume IV
The cover of our favourite new office book, Objects of Desire, Volume IV

Last Wednesday, Capsule Arts attended the launch of the newest instalment in the Objects of Desire series of publications by Commercial Interior Design magazine. The launch took place at Dubai-based creative space, The Mine, in Al Quoz, and was accompanied by an exhibition of some of the lustworthy design objects featured in the book.

The fourth edition of Objects of Desire brings together a vast array of design practices, from pared down Scandinavian design to more whimsical and playful objects, and features big time designers like Zaha Hadid alongside emerging talent like Farg & Blanche.

Here we bring you our personal picks from the book and exhibition, along with a photo diary of the exhibition.

Our highlights:

Deepa's top pick from the book - Richard Hutton's Layers Cloud Chair. Made using 840 square meters of textiles, the chair weights almost 300kg!
Deepa's top pick from the book - Richard Hutton's Layers Cloud Chair. Made using 840 square meters of textiles, the chair weights almost 300kg!
Rachael Brown's (Director and co-founder) top pick: the Fallen Tree bench by Benjamin Graindorge. Expertly sculpted from natural oak, the bench seems to unravel to reveal the natural forms from which it was borne.
Rachael Brown's (Director and co-founder) top pick: the Fallen Tree bench by Benjamin Graindorge. Expertly sculpted from natural oak, the bench seems to unravel to reveal the natural forms from which it was borne.
Amy Sutcliffe's (Retail & Marketing Manager) top pick - Hammock or bath? Both are combined in Splinter Works' hybrid bathtub, Vessel
Amy Sutcliffe's (Retail & Marketing Manager) top pick - Hammock or bath? Both are combined in Splinter Works' hybrid bathtub, Vessel
Kouichi Okamoto's Liquid Lamp is somewhat sinister in appearance, and seems to be melting before your eyes
Kouichi Okamoto's Liquid Lamp is somewhat sinister in appearance, and seems to be melting before your eyes
Erwan Boullard's blingtastic wardrobe, Rosanna, is inspired by 1960s design
Erwan Boullard's blingtastic wardrobe, Rosanna, is inspired by 1960s design
Studio Job's Archives, a wacky wallpaper collection that acts as a retrospective by compiling all of the studio's past designs
Studio Job's Archives, a wacky wallpaper collection that acts as a retrospective by compiling all of the studio's past designs
Charlie Styrbjorn Nilsson's quirky ladders can be used as either functional or decorative objects
Charlie Styrbjorn Nilsson's quirky ladders can be used as either functional or decorative objects

Some snaps from the exhibition:

Delicious snacks were served from a vintage Citroen van  by the fantastic Ghaf Kitchen
Delicious snacks were served from a vintage Citroen van by the fantastic Ghaf Kitchen
Capsule Arts Director Deepa Bhatia in disguise at the exhibition
Capsule Arts Director Deepa Bhatia in disguise at the exhibition
One of design studio Ayka's fantastical abstract rug creations on display at The Mine
One of design studio Ayka's fantastical abstract rug creations on display at The Mine