• Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2011 by Peter Zumthor
    Serpentine Gallery, London
    Jul 01, 2011 to Oct 16, 2011
    Serpentine Gallery

Peter Zumthor, Hortus Concluses, Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2011. © Peter Zumthor, Photo: John Offenbach.

Pritzker Prize–winning Swiss architect Peter Zumthor designs the 2011 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, a pioneering architecture commission which provides a unique opportunity for diverse audiences to physically experience and interact with the work of this visionary architect. Zumthor creates a contemplative space featuring a secluded and peaceful garden, designed by Piet Oudolf, reflecting the natural environments of Switzerland. The Pavilion is a forum for learning and debate, playing host to the imaginative Park Nights programme, a series of Friday night public events including discussions, film screenings, live readings, and performances. Conceived in 2000, the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion Program pioneers an innovative way to exhibit contemporary architecture and is unique worldwide. The Serpentine annually commissions international architects of worldwide acclaim, who have not completed a building in England at the time of the Gallery's invitation, to design a temporary Pavilion for four months each year.

Peter Zumthor (b.1943) studied at the Kunstgewerbeschule, Vorkurs and Fachklasse and at Pratt Institute, New York. He lives and works in Haldenstein, Switzerland. Zumthor's buildings are renowned for their quality, otherworldly aura, and powerful integration with their surroundings. Many of his buildings are located in the Swiss Alps. Zumthor has taught at such institutions as the Academy of Architecture; Universitá della Svizzera Italiana, Medrisio; the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University; and SCI-Arc. His publications includeThinking Architecture, a seminal work on the philosophy of architecture. Zumthor has been awarded the International Prize for Stone Architecture, Fiera di Verona, Italy, 1995; the Mies van der Rohe Award (European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture), 1999; the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Architecture, University of Virginia, 2006; the Praemium Imperiale, Japan Art Association, 2008; and the Pritzker Architecture Prize, 2009.

Piet Oudolf's projects include the internationally renowned High Line in New York, which involved planting along a railway line that winds through the city. Combining minimalism with ecology, this garden was conceived of as a series of interwoven elements that lead visitors along a richly planted path. Other notable designs include the Lurie Garden in Millennium Park, Chicago; Wisley, the Royal Horticultural Society Garden in Surrey; Il Giardino delle Vergini at the 2010 Venice Biennale; and his own innovative garden in Hummelo, The Netherlands. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the 2010 Award of Distinction by the Association of Professional Landscape Designers and the 2009 Dalecarlica Award, Sweden. Oudolf’s garden was also awarded ‘Best in Show’ at the 2000 Chelsea Flower Show, London. In 2010 he was named as one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company Magazine.

Hans Ulrich Obrist is the codirector, exhibitions and programs and director of international projects at the Serpentine Gallery. Since joining the Gallery in 2006, Obrist has played a key role in defining and curating the Pavilion public program, primarily the marathon events which close the Pavilion season and have subsequently inspired similar events in Reykjavik and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Julia Peyton-Jones is the director of the Serpentine Gallery and codirector, exhibitions and programs. Peyton-Jones conceived the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion Program in 2000 as a pioneering way to present exhibitions of contemporary architecture to the public in the form of built space rather than plans and models.

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