If you have the inclination for a walk through the digestive tract of a technicolor mystery beast, then you’ll find yourself right at home visiting the Second Home Serpentine Pavilion, whose 2015 winning iteration by selgascano opened last week on the banks of the La Brea Tar Pits. On hand for the inauguration were chief design office of the city of Los Angeles and former L.A. Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne in discussion with the Pavilion’s designers, Jose Selgas and Lucia Cano of Madrid-based design firm selgascano.
“The history of L.A. is part of our background as architects,” says Selgas, citing Eames and John Lautner as influences. “And the Finish Fetish, Larry Bell, and those guys, for us it’s part of our background in our practice. Coming here is fantastic cause in the end, this is part of us, this is part of the climate, and you feel at home immediately in Los Angeles.”
Opened in 2015 in Hyde Park, London, the 866-square-foot structure was the winner of that year’s Serpentine Pavilion prize — an annual design competition in which temporary structures are commissioned for summer installation at the iconic London site. Previous winners have included Zaha Hadid and Christo. Second Home’s selgascano temporary architecture is woven from translucent multi-colored polymers and, as a prime example of one of the most visited design exhibitions in the world, begs to be Instagrammed.
Upon entering, visitors pass through a corridor between the inner and outer layers before reaching the multi-hued interior. In partnership with the Natural History Museum, the psychedelic space will host arts events through November 24, including a screening of the nature documentary Our Planet, cosponsored by the World Wildlife Fund, and a conversation between filmmaker David Lynch and Serpentine Gallery director Hans Ulrich Obrist later this summer.
“We’re doing it to create a civic heart where people can work together,” says Rohan Silva, former advisor to UK PM David Cameron and co-founder of Second Home, a creative “social business” responsible for purchasing and relocating the pavilion to L.A. “We have a wonderful range of charities and nonprofits like Inner City Arts and L.A. Youth Symphony taking over the pavilion. It will be used by lots of different people in different ways. And when it’s not in use for events, it’s free for anyone to enjoy. It’s an entirely civic space.”
At the La Brea Tar Pits through November 24, 2019. Open during museum park hours; free.