SelgasCano abandoned initial Serpentine pavilion plans 09.03.15

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Practice had to redesign structure "almost from scratch" less than six months before opening date due to demands of brief, architect José Selgas tells Icon

SelgasCano had to rethink its design for the 2015 Serpentine Pavilion after its original plans proved to be impractical, the Spanish architecture duo had revealed.

Speaking to Icon at the end of January, Lucía Cano and José Selgas (pictured above) explained that their initial idea for a conceptual building fabricated from only one material had proved difficult because of the challenges posed by the brief.

"We realised that we weren't making a piece of art – it's architecture that obeys a programme – so we had to start again, almost from scratch," said Selgas. "Essentially, we're building a theatre, in a royal park, where you sell alcohol. So the regulations are huge; it's not like you can build whatever you want. We don't have carte blanche."

Selgas admitted that designing the temporary structure had been "intense". "It's a very quick, stressful process," he said, adding: "In one month we'll be there."

The 15th pavilion in the gallery's series is likely to showcase SelgasCano's distinctive use of colour. The design will also respond to what Selgas describes as the "very strange space" it will sit in. "We realised that this building will sit in a piece of garden of little interest," he said. "It's flat, empty and stupid to some point. So we wanted to create a building that has its own garden and feels like it belongs to and embraces the park again."

Read more about the pavilion design, SelgasCano's recent project in London and the practice's use of colour in Icon's interview with Lucía Cano and José Selgas in our new issue, Icon 142: Colour




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The site is flat, empty and stupid to some point

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