Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2009 by Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa of SANAA

Gallery director Julia Peyton-Jones describes the reflective aluminium Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2009, created by Japanese architects Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa of SANAA, as “strange and gorgeous” in this exclusive movie. Sejima and Nishizawa’s pavilion in 2009 featured a canopy made from aluminium-faced plywood floating on hundreds of slender stainless steel columns. “Their pavilion was so strange and gorgeous,” says Peyton-Jones in the movie. “They had this swooping canopy, which was something that was very important to them.” The canopy, which was shaped to curve around trees on the site, was polished on both sides so that it reflected the park when viewed from below and the sky from above. “I think what was so fascinating about the SANAA proposal was that it really embraced the parkland setting and this peculiar English weather we have throughout the summer,” Peyton-Jones says. “When it rained, it was really gorgeous and when the sun shone it was also sublime. There was no perfect moment to see the pavilion.” She continues: “It was fascinating to see it as it merged into the landscape, depending on the weather, and fascinating to see how that reflective material gave back the park to itself.”