Ai Weiwei, © Ai Weiwei

LONDON - It's just been revealed that the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion in London’s Hyde Park this summer will be designed by Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei.

The team who designed the Beijing National Stadium for the 2008 Olympics will reunite to create the acclaimed annual commission for the Serpentine Gallery, as part of the London 2012 Festival, the culmination of the Cultural Olympiad.

This year the Pavilion will take visitors beneath the Serpentine’s lawn to explore the hidden history of previous Pavilions by names such as Zaha Hadid, Frank Gehry, Jean Nouvel and Daniel Libeskind among others. Each will be characterised by eleven columns which, together with a twelfth for this current iteration, will support a floating platform roof 1.5 metres above ground.

Describing their design concept Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei said: “Every year since 2000, a different architect has been responsible for creating the Serpentine Gallery’s summer Pavilion for Kensington Gardens… So many Pavilions in so many different shapes and out of so many different materials have been conceived and built that we tried instinctively to sidestep the unavoidable problem of creating an object, a concrete shape.”

The Pavilion exhibits another side of Ai Weiwei’s creativity. Interest in his work is currently at a high. We sold his unique work Marble Door for just under $500,000 in New York last November, but for me the most memorable has to be the two sculptures we sold based on the sunflower seeds that Weiwei made for the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall in 2010.

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