Four years after designing the spectacular Bird’s Nest Olympic stadium in Beijing, the Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron and the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei are to reunite for a London 2012 project.
The Serpentine Gallery announced on Tuesday that the Beijing team would collaborate again to design this year’s pavilion – the 12th commission in what has become a major annual event on the architecture calendar.
Julia Peyton-Jones, the director of the gallery, said it was “tremendously exciting”, adding: “What is so fantastic is that it is this extraordinary link of the two games, a Beijing-London axis.
“These are old and dear friends, so for them [Jacques Herzog, Pierre de Meuron and Ai Weiwei], they are picking up where they left off. It is a continuation of a conversation that began in Beijing to great effect and they have conceived something really remarkable for our lawn.”
The involvement of Ai will be cheering news for anyone familiar with the tumultuous 12 months he has had.