NY LX Pavilion designed by OLI Architecture to house Richard Serra's London Cross

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NY LX Pavilion designed by OLI Architecture to house Richard Serra's London Cross
Constructed in a carefully choreographed sequence with the sculpture installation, LX Pavilion is a quiet sanctuary where time and space merge. Image courtesy of OLI Architecture. Photo: Albert Cheung / FRAME Studio.

NEW YORK, NY.- Located on a private estate in Bedford, New York, LX Pavilion is a site-specific structure named for the Richard Serra sculpture it houses, London Cross (2014). Designed by OLI Architecture, which has offices in New York, Shanghai and Paris, the pavilion is designed to not just be a container but an integral component of the artistic experience, becoming spatially, figuratively, and contractually the “art” itself.

Constructed in a carefully choreographed sequence with the sculpture installation, LX Pavilion is a quiet sanctuary where time and space merge. Wrapped in charred Accoya timber, the facade is intended to naturally patina marking the passage of time, yet unlike many of Serra’s outdoor sculptures that measure time and space through material transformation, London Cross is protected by this intervention. The interior of the pavilion also emphasizes transience and the passing of time. A north-facing sawtooth skylight distributes soft indirect lighting into the space which changes throughout the day, offering an ever-changing experience of London Cross. The sculpture itself is physically connected to the space, composed of two fifteen-ton weathering-steel plates measuring 40’ long, 7’ tall and 2-1/2” thick, the lower running diagonally between two corners of the room and the other perched atop. These are held in place by a specially constructed hydrated-lime wall partition which eliminates construction joints.

The project came to OLI through Serra himself, who the firm had previously collaborated with, designing an abstract trapezoidal granite pier as a base for his 80-foot-tall sculpture, 7 (2011) at the Museum of Islamic Art Park in Doha. The artist worked closely with OLI throughout the design process for LX Pavilion, choosing the site with them and even sharing a copy of a Japanese joinery book from his library.

Hiroshi Okamoto, co-founder and Principal at OLI, says “the aim was to create a pavilion that would fit timelessly into the landscape. We knew that the key was to complement the art without competing with it, to maximize its intimate and powerful spatial-temporal qualities.”

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