The 2007 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion designed by Norwegian architect

The Serpentine Gallery has invited the world-famous artist Olafur Eliasson and the distinguished Norwegian architect Kjetil Thorsen, of the architectural practice Snøhetta, to collaborate on the 2007 Pavilion. The unique look of the pavilion has now been unveiled.

Serpentine Gallery Directors Julia Peyton-Jones and Hans Ulrich Obrist said: The Serpentine Gallery architectural commission is taking a step into the future by expanding the design team to include a visual artist, a format that began last year with a collaboration between Pavilion designers Rem Koolhaas and Cecil Balmond, with Arup and artist Thomas Demand. This will bring an extra dimension to the project that already holds a unique place in the innovation of architectural practice. We are very excited about this next step in the Pavilion’s history.
Olafur Eliasson and Kjetil Thorsen said: Our collaboration on the Serpentine Pavilion 2007 is defined by our mutual focus on the experience of space and on temporality as a constitutive element of spaces, private or public. We both work within a field of spatial experimentation that renders conceptual differences between art and architecture superfluous.

Kjetil Thorsen is co-founder of Snøhetta, one of Scandinavia’s leading architectural practices, with offices in Oslo and New York. The Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Egypt 1993-98 is the commission that brought Snøhetta to international acclaim. Thorsen is responsible for the design of award-winning public buildings globally and has collaborated with Eliasson several times, including the New National Opera House, Oslo, currently under construction. He is a founder of Galleri Rom, Oslo, which focuses on the intersection of architecture and art, a member of the Norwegian Architectural Association (NAL) and the American Institute of Architects (AIA). He is also Professor at the Institute for Experimental Studies in Architecture at the University of Innsbruck, Austria.

Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson is based in Berlin where he established Studio Olafur Eliasson, a laboratory for spatial research. His work explores the relationship between individual people and their surroundings, as experienced in his awe-inspiring large-scale installation The weather project, 2003, at Tate Modern. Publisher of a new magazine that melds artistic and architectural experimentation, Eliasson is currently involved in numerous architectural projects such as the Icelandic National Concert and Conference Centre in Reykjavik (design of the building envelope). He is collaborating with the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C. on a project that reconsiders the museum’s communicative potential, and recently won the competition for a large rooftop extension at ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum, Denmark.

As in previous years Cecil Balmond, Deputy Chairman, Arup and the Advanced Geometry Unit, lead by Daniel Bosia, will lend invaluable assistance to the structural engineering and design of the Pavilion.

The Serpentine Gallery Pavilion commission, now entering its eighth year, is an ongoing programme of temporary structures by internationally acclaimed architects. It is unique worldwide and presents the work of an international architect who, at the time of the Serpentine Gallery’s invitation, has not completed a building in the UK. The Pavilion architects to date are Rem Koolhaas and Cecil Balmond, with Arup, 2006; Álvaro Siza and Eduardo Souto de Moura with Cecil Balmond, Arup, 2005; MVRDV with Arup, 2004- (un-realised); Oscar Niemeyer, 2003; Toyo Ito with Arup, 2002; Daniel Libeskind with Arup, 2001; and Zaha Hadid, 2000.

The 2007 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion designed by Norwegian architect Kjetil Thorsen. Photo: 2007 © Olafur Eliasson and Kjetil Thorsen

Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson has been in charge of the visual design of the pavilion. Photo: 2007 © Olafur Eliasson and Kjetil Thorsen

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The 2007 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion will be open to the public throughout the summer.Photo: 2007 © Olafur Eliasson and Kjetil Thorsen

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