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The Psychedelic New Serpentine Pavilion Opened Today in London and Is Already an Instagram Darling

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Despite the London rain putting in a predictable appearance, this year's Serpentine Pavilion opened this morning in a burst of shiny, sunshine-infused color courtesy of young Spanish architects, selgascano. If the 15th edition of the London galleries' annual architectural installation is not the zaniest yet, it is certainly the most Instagram-friendly.

This year's pavilion comprises two layers of translucent, fluorine-based polymer (EFTE) fabric panels and ribbons printed with a palette of 19 colors are wrapped around a polygonal steel frame. The psychedelically-hued elements join forces to create a space-age central atrium with a café and four tentacle-like tunnels that stretch out from this central space in different directions. To enter and exit, visitors must pass through 'corridors' between the outer and inner layers, bathing in reflected color. "Each entrance allows for a specific journey through the space, characterized by light and irregular shapes with surprising volumes," explain the Madrid-based architects.

Like much of selgascano's work, the relationship of the structure with its park surroundings is at the heart of the project. The translucent skin creates a color-drenched view of the trees from within and its openings frame the landscape. When the sun finally did break from beneath the clouds at this morning's opening—shining through the layers of kaleidoscopic, iridescent plastic—an array of colorful patterns danced across the white floor, giving off the dizzying effect of a stained glass window.



"This is not just one pavilion but many different pavilions," said the Serpentine Galleries' co-director Hans-Ulrich Obrist, referring to the structure's sensitivity to light. "We are very excited to see it in the evening and in different light conditions, in the sun and the rain and so on." Indeed, the pavilion can be observed around-the-clock by the galleries' daily visitors who, throughout the summer until October, can stop by for a coffee at the Fortnum & Mason cafe during the daytime or to enjoy a specially curated program of live art, music, poetry and film events by night.

Inside Selgas Cano

A photo posted by Olly Wainwright (@ollywainwright) on

Earlier today at the #SelgasCano pavilion for @serpentineuk

A photo posted by Fernanda Abdalla (@fernanda_abdalla) on

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