BIG’s Pixelated Serpentine Pavilion Is Straight Out Of Minecraft

The 16th annual Serpentine Pavilion is a luminous “unzipped wall” made from stacked fiberglass bricks.

BIG’s Pixelated Serpentine Pavilion Is Straight Out Of Minecraft
Photo: via @bjarkeingels

This week, Bjarke Ingels Group unveiled the final design for its 2016 Serpentine Pavilion: a curvaceous “unzipped wall” that rises into a spire above the entrance. Made from hollow fiberglass bricks, the structure manages to appear both translucent and opaque, and glows an ethereal white at night.


Ingels, who has previously said that architecture should be more like Minecraft, seems to be embracing the idea in full here: the irregularly stacked bricks look like pixels from the popular world-building computer game. The idea for the design, the Danish architect told reporters at the unveiling, was to transform a line into a 3-D space. The void in the structure’s center will host a cafe and events space during the day, and the Serpentine Gallery’s annual Park Nights program at night.

“We have attempted to design a structure that embodies multiple aspects that are often perceived as opposites: a structure that is free-form yet rigorous, modular yet sculptural, both transparent and opaque, both solid box and blob,” says Ingels.

Now in its 16th year, the Serpentine Pavilion, a temporary installation commissioned by the Serpentine Gallery and located in London’s Kensington Gardens, has been designed by architects like Zaha Hadid, Frank Gehry, Sou Fujimoto, and SANAA. This year, the pavilion is accompanied for the first time by four smaller “summer houses” designed by Kunlé Adeyemi-NLÉ, Barkow Leibinger, Yona Friedman, and Asif Khan.

Ingels is known for his showmanship, and his tendency for playful, larger-than-life, often spectacular designs made him a much-anticipated choice for this year’s Pavilion. He didn’t disappoint–the luminous BIG zipper looks incredible both inside and out.

See more angles of the Pavilion from Ingels’s Instagram pictures below.

About the author

Meg Miller is an associate editor at Co.Design covering art, technology, and design.