The collaboration between chinese world-renown artist Ai Weiwei and 2001 Pritzker Prize and Beijing Olympic “Bird’s Nest Stadium” architects Herzog & de Meuron, is a very rich work in many directions. The 2012 vision of London’s Serpentine Gallery Pavilion is a deep thought on the co-existence of the future and the past and their links, the perception of the space from the inside and the outside, the link between humanity and nature, the memory of materials and the intimacy of a place. This is a multi-lingual language set both beneath and above the surface of the ground where art shares its multi-faceted immaterial value with architecture. A kind of alchemy that paves the way to new horizons and brings a reassuring feeling of optimism.

«This year’s Pavilion will take visitors beneath the Serpentine’s lawn to explore the hidden history of its previous Pavilions. Eleven columns characterising each past Pavilion and a twelfth column representing the current structure will support a floating platform roof 1.4 metres above ground. The Pavilion’s interior will be clad in cork, a sustainable building material chosen for its unique qualities and to echo the excavated earth. Taking an archaeological approach, the architects have created a design that will inspire visitors to look beneath the surface of the park as well as back in time across the ghosts of the earlier structures.»

The 2012 Pavilion has been purchased by Usha and Lakshmi N. Mittal and will enter their private collection after it closes to the public in October 2012.