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Elle Decor Italia

Portugal: mirrored pavilion pays homage to Álvaro Siza Vieira

The project by Studio deep unfolds around a polygonal structure blending art and nature

Josè Campos

A mix of exterior mirrored façades reflecting the natural setting and neutral interiors for screening short films: check out the Liquid Pavilion in the grounds of the Serralves Museum in Portugal

Welcome to Serralves, the most visited museum in Portugal, where a reflective pavilion was just raised in order to host short film screenings. A project by local firm depA on behalf of Fundaçao de Serralves, the new installation is located in an 18-hectare lush park surrounding the cultural landmark originally designed by Àlvaro Siza Vieira and comprising an Art Deco villa along with the Serralves museum itself.

The latter was specifically conceived in the early 90s so to gently adapt to the site’s natural features and enhance the architecture/landscape seamless relationship. Such harmonic architectural codes have now been updated by Studio depA, which literally submerged the pavilion with lavishly green vegetation. 

PH: Jose Campos

Benefitting from the key location – on the edge of the lake at the centre of the Serralves park –, the team of Portuguese architects has constructed a reflective pavilion with the aim of triggering a direct dialogue with Siza’s museum building inaugurated in 1999. The spatial layout echoes that of an irregular polygon extracted from the museum’s plan, whose shape recurs repeatedly throughout the park’s pathways and natural topography. For its part, the concave polygonal structure absorbs and reflects its setting thanks to the mirrored façades, thus celebrating both the lake waters and surrounding dense foliage: being extremely suitable for screening short films, the pavilion’s agenda has already kicked off with O Peixe, a work by Brazilian artist Jonathas de Andrade currently on view. 

Liquid Pavilion” is the newfound name of this architecture whose reflective surface successfully highlights the beauty of its natural context. “The extracted polygon, once implanted in the park and with its original context altered, including the transformation of its shape and materiality, becomes something new and detaches itself from its original source”, so the architects explained. 

Inside, mimetic mirroring walls turn into neutral canvases where to screen videos and films and let viewers delve deep into the ideal projection experience. Also, it being filled with colour and light, the pavilion camouflages with its surroundings and serves as a transitionary bridge between the landscape and the art it contains. 

by Paola Testoni / 9 January 2018


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