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Serpentine Pavilion Created with Roof Tiles

Serpentine Pavilion Created with Roof Tiles

Mexican architect Frida Escobedo used grey concrete roof tiles to create the Serpentine Pavilion in 2018, creating a secluded courtyard surrounded by lattice walls.

Escobedo stated that they usually try to create more complex forms with simple materials, do not use expensive coatings, and explore what they can create with simple things.

Escobedo stacked tiles made in England in an alternate pattern to create a celosía, a perforated wall commonly used in Mexican architecture.

Rearranging the industrially produced concrete tile creates a kind of weave that lets the sun and light in. Such designs are widely used in gardens in Mexico due to the weather.

Concrete tile walls frame a rectangular courtyard, another feature of Mexican residential architecture. The yard has a triangular pool of water in one corner and is partially covered by a curved mirrored ceiling that creates distorted reflections of the walls and the people passing by.

In plan, the pavilion consists of two overlapping rectangles. One runs parallel to the Serpentine Gallery at the rear. The other runs parallel to the Prime Meridian, the longitudinal axis set up in nearby Greenwich and used worldwide to measure time.

Escobedo is the 18th architect commissioned by the Serpentine Gallery to design the Serpentine Pavilion in London, offering architects the opportunity to complete their first building in the UK. She is also younger than her predecessors like Peter Zumthor and Bjarke Ingels and is the first woman to lead the project since the opening pavilion designed by Zaha Hadid in 2000.