London's annual Serpentine Gallery Pavilion is constructed this year by Pritzker-prize winning Swiss architect Peter Zumthor. Each summer the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion commission acts as a showcase for the work of an international architect or design team who has not completed a building in England at the time of the Gallery’s invitation. Zumthor's pavilion will be the 11th since the commission's initiation. The theme of Zumthor's creation is hortus conclusus, featuring a garden designed by the Netherlands' Piet Oudolf.
Hortus conclusus capitalizes on Zumthor's philosophy that architecture must be experienced first-hand, drawing on the work of German philosopher Martin Heidegger. In the Pavilion, this attitude is revealed in the use of simple materials, and the emphasis on scale and light. The structure encloses the garden designed by Oudolf, creating a 'garden within a garden' (the Pavilion is in Hyde Park). Visitors enter the building from the lawn and begin the transition into the central garden, where sounds and movements from the exterior world are pared away.
The Serpentine Gallery Pavilion opened on July 1 and will remain on view until October 16, 2011.