Harvard University Graduate School of Design alumna and 2018 Wheelwright Prize juror Frida Escobedo (MDes ’12) has been selected to design this year’s Serpentine Pavilion in London’s Kensington Gardens. Her courtyard-based design draws inspiration from British materials and history, as well as the domestic architecture of her native Mexico.
Born in 1979, Escobedo is the youngest architect yet to receive the prestigious annual commission, and the first solo woman designer since Zaha Hadid was tapped to create the inaugural pavilion in 2000. She has been honored with numerous awards, including the Ibero-American Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism Prize (2014) and the Emerging Voices Award by the Architectural League of New York (2017).
Inspired by the celosia—a breeze wall commonly found in Mexican architecture—Escobedo's pavilion will feature lattice walls made from cement tiles surrounding a pool of water. The structure's pivoted axis will refer to the Prime Meridian line located at London’s Royal Observatory in Greenwich.
A member of the inaugural class of the Master in Design Studies’ Art, Design, and the Public Domain (ADPD) concentration, Escobedo has returned to Harvard for a variety of programming since graduating in 2012, including leading a seminar for ADPD students in 2016. She will return to campus again this month as part of the 2018 Wheelwright Prize jury.
The Serpentine Pavilion will be open to the public from June 15 to October 7, 2018.
Learn more about Escobedo's design, the Gallery, and the pavilion.