Serpentine Pavilioni

Bjarke Ingels


For the last 16 years, the Serpentine Galleries in London has commissioned international architects to design a pavilion that becomes the setting for daily and nightly cultural events. This iconic annual architectural commission resides for four months - from June to October - on the Galleries’ lawn in London’s Kensington Garden and has become the premiere social space of the summer season.

The commission is an opportunity for the greatest architectural talent in the world to express their creativity, by reimagining a traditional space and giving the public access to explore it.  In 2016, Westbank sponsored Bjarke Ingels’ design for the Serpentine Pavilion.

Ingels' design, the ‘unzipped wall’, sought to reconcile aspects commonly perceived as opposites, creating a space that is both free-form and structured; modular yet sculptural. The resulting structure transforms from a straight line into three-dimensional space, creating a dramatic undulating form of stacked rectangular frames made out of glass fiber.

Westbank subsequently purchased the Pavilion, with the intention that it would serve a purpose beyond the one exhibition.  Plans are currently underway that would see the Serpentine Pavilion on display for periods of time in New York and Toronto, before eventually finding its way to a permanent home in Vancouver.

“Westbank has a well established and growing relationship with Bjarke and his team at BIG,” said Ian Gillespie, Founder, Westbank. “Purchasing the Pavilion was a very natural extension of that partnership and we want to give Bjarke’s creation the most interesting afterlife of any of the previous pavilions.”