Peter Zumthor does the Serpentine

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On the lawn of London’s Kensington Gardens, Pritzker Prize laureate Peter Zumthor will design this year’s pavilion for the Serpentine Gallery.

The Swiss architect will partner with Dutch landscape designer (who also worked on NYC’s much-loved High Line) to create a garden – a concept that deviates from the ‘s typically airy temporary stuctures created by the likes of Toyo Ito and Jean Nouvel.

The idea, however, is quintessential Zumthor, who seeks to create a contemplative space that places importance on the role that the five senses and our infinite emotions play in the experience of architecture. The architect is best known for crafting such meditative, slow-architecture works as the Bruder Klaus Chapel in Cologne and the thermal baths at the Hotel Therme in Vals.

Constructed from a lightweight timber frame wrapped with scrim and coated with a black paste, the Serpentine pavilion will feature several doorways leading to multiple paths for visitors to follow – all eventually usher them to the central, hidden garden.

The lush garden will offer visitors a chance to unwind, away from the noise and traffic of the city. According to the press release, Zumthor says the design “aims to help its audience take the time to relax, to observe and then perhaps, talk again – maybe not.”

Zumthor’s pavilion will be installed in July and up until October 2011. 

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