Four years after collaborating on the Bird's Nest Olympic stadium in Beijing, the Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron and the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei will reunite to build a temporary construction that will be connected with the end of London's Cultural Olympiad.
For the last several years, the small Serpentine Gallery (a former tea house) has been commissioning pavilions, built as a temporary adjunct to their space, from some of the world's most renowned designers, including Zaha Hadid, Frank Gehry, Rem Koolhaas, Daniel Libeskind and Oscar Niemeyer.
A few details about the Weiwei and Herzog & de Meuron commission -- the 12th so far -- have been released, the most notable being that the floating platform of a roof will barely be five feet off of the ground. The idea is that it will collect rainwater on the surface, perfect for reflecting the moody London sky, or it can be drained for dance events. The trio also plans to dig a few feet deep into the soil below so that visitors can walk beneath the roof, which will be supported by 12 columns, 11 representing past pavilions and one for the current.