Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Thursday 11 July 2013

In, down, and (this year) up

Where previous year's Serpentine Pavilions drew the visitor in (to a monastic cloister) and down (to a cork-lined re-creation of previous Pavilions' foundations), this year's tempts you up into its cloud of white-painted metal tubing.

It's not quite the gigantic playground climbing-frame that it appears to be, but there are seemingly random armoured-glass steps to various vantage points, to sit, or to gaze through the maze of struts and plexiglass rain-guards on the posh coffee-stand beneath, or to get your bearings by looking at the Serpentine Gallery itself. To avoid too much health-and-safety confusion, it is fairly clear where there is solid support and where are the gaps that you can't actually step on by accident.

The artspeak intention is to create "an architectural landscape: a transparent terrain that encourages people to interact with and explore the site in diverse ways."
In fine weather, it certainly makes for an airy experience, and different visitors found their own ways of amusing themselves with it.

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