Meinhardt Blog

Sketch Club Visit to the Serpentine Pavilion

Meinhardt Sketch Club is now one year old! After a very successful year of visits including the National Theatre, the V&A Museum and the Wellcome Collection we returned yesterday to where Sketch Club began: the Serpentine Pavilion.

Every year the Serpentine Gallery in Hyde Park invites an international architect to design a temporary pavilion for the summer. For 2018 they selected the relatively young Mexican architect Frida Escobedo who has created a structure stylistically based on an enclosed courtyard with its walls pivoted on an axis aligned with the Prime Meridian at Greenwich. Her design combines aspects of domestic Mexican architecture with British buildings materials. This fusion of influences is most prominent in the pavilion’s walls made from layered, darkly coloured cement roof tiles arranged to form a celosia or breeze wall. These walls, often in the form of a lattice or blockwork structure, are used in Mexico to create shade and privacy while allowing cooling air to flow through a room. In Escobedo’s pavilion they created a semi-transparent barrier between the shaded internal space and the greenery of the park outside.

This celosia proved a hard subject for those who chose to sketch it. Although its overall form and constituent parts were relatively simple the resulting regular patterned surface formed by the tiles of the wall were challenging to capture on paper. Others chose instead to draw the nearby gallery, the park outside, and even eachother.

There will be plenty more drawing opportunities this summer as Sketch Club heads next to Greenwich Park and then back to V&A where Waugh Thistleton Architects are due to install a temporary pavilion as part of the London Design Festival 2018.

Steffan Carey