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Summer in the city

It’s cold and it’s grey and most sensible people are thinking about where they might go for their summer holidays. But for others summer has other connotations as well.

It’s cold and it’s grey and most sensible people are thinking about where they might go for their summer holidays. But for others summer has other connotations as well. 

I for instance think ‘summer – oh yes, judging the Wood Awards’. And for many architecture aficionados, the fun comes from seeing who has been commissioned to design the Serpentine Pavilion. This year’s choice, Bjarke Ingels, is in a way outstandingly obvious, an architect with an enormous international profile. 

Projects like The Mountain in Copenhagen (seen above in a very evocative photo by Iwan Baan) have brought him such renown that the only surprises are that he hasn’t built here, and that he has time for the project.

His pavilion will doubtless be great, but equally exciting is the latest innovation. This is the introduction of four ‘summer houses’ designed by architects who do not yet have a permanent building in the UK. One of these is Asif Khan, probably best known for the Coca Cola Beatbox pavilion at the 2012 Olympics. He has just completed a lovely playground structure in east London, but that doesn’t really qualify as a ‘building’ (no plumbing, no power, no drainage..). So it will be great to see how he works on the much more public canvas of Hyde Park, where anybody can and will visit – unlike the Olympics where, of course, you needed a ticket.

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