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Serpentine Pavilion Arrives in Los Angeles

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

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Traveling from Europe to the United States, the SelgasCano-designed Second Home Serpentine Pavilion is coming to the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles.

The temporary installation arrives early to celebrate its namesake's first U.S. branch. Co-working-space company Second Home is slated to open its Hollywood location in September.

About the Pavilion

The psychedelic rainbow-colored pavilion was initially created for the 15th Serpentine Gallery Pavilion in London’s Hyde Park back in 2015.

The Spanish firm created the 866-square-foot structure using primarily ethylene tetrafluoroethylene materials and various arched steel frames. In wrapping the frames with 19 different shades of the polymer product, SelgasCano created a translucent and bright structure, one that resembles a bioluminescent chrysalis in that it is constantly changing its color and appearance throughout the day.

“We need to go back to nature—to see life with new eyes, again,” Selgas told the Los Angeles Times.

“The pavilion is for people to walk inside, experience and work with their memories. The complexity of nature is bigger than what we have digitally. The pavilion is an artificial nature; the goal is to improve the natural with something artificial.”

Throughout the twisting tunnels and shapes, texture ribbons layered with the ETFE material were also used to stretch over the steel frame, creating a kaleidoscope-like effect. Accessible through three different entrances, each one takes the visitor through a “secret corridor,” that when explored through, leads the individual to the center of the stained glass-like interior.

"We sought a way to allow the public to experience architecture through simple elements: structure, light, transparency, shadows, lightness, form, sensitivity, change, surprise, color, and materials," said Selgas.

"The spatial qualities of the pavilion only unfold when accessing the structure and being immersed within it."

The art installation is slated to be free and open to the public through Nov. 24 and will include various talks organized by Second Home and the Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County and in partnership with Netflix, Universal Music, World Wildlife Fund, David Lynch and more.

Second Home Hollywood and Other Projects

Located in East Hollywood—specifically on the historic site of the Anne Banning Community House—the redesigned 90,000-square-foot co-working campus is expected to host up to 250 diverse organizations in addition to Second Home’s renowned book shop, Libreria.

Other campus amenities will include a 200-seat auditorium, restaurant, recording studio and outdoor garden terraces. According to Second Home co-founder Sam Aldenton, the company plans on installing 6,500 plants and 400 full-size trees.

In renderings of the developing project, the campus reveals 60 various circular-shaped yellow rooftops, punctured by palms and pathway greenery. The rooftops are reported to be clad in a transparent acrylic.

“Glass can be a very dead material; it is very flat,” Selgas said. “Acrylic is always different, even when made with the same mold. It is not as perfect. Imperfection is something related to humans, to the fact that people fabricated the piece. We love to work with materials made by hand. You can feel the past and the process.”

In addition to Second Home’s campus, SelgasCano is still in the early stages of another Los Angeles property: the Taylor Yard. The semi-permanent visitor overlook will sit along side the L.A. River, where the city is working to convert the Southern Pacific rail yard into a parkland.

Visitors and onlookers can expect the firm’s design to blur nature and artificial elements.


Tagged categories: Acrylic; Architecture; Artists; Asia Pacific; Color + Design; Color + Design; Design; Design - Commercial; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE); Latin America; Museums; North America; Partnerships; Polymers; SelgasCano; Z-Continents

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