Seven key projects by Serpentine Pavilion architect Frida Escobedo | AARB Magazine

Seven key projects by Serpentine Pavilion architect Frida Escobedo

Dezeen has rounded up seven of the most significant projects by Mexican architect Frida Escobedo, the designer of 2018’s Serpentine Pavilion.

Escobedo‘s Serpentine Pavilion, which opens to the public on 15 June, features a pool of water shaded by dark latticed walls, with a mirrored canopy overhead. When the commission was revealed the gallery commended the design for its “bold interior” and ability to “draw history into the present”.

She is the youngest architect to receive the prestigious annual commission to date.

Born in 1979 in Mexico City, Escobedo studied architecture at the Universidad Iberoamericana before completing a master’s degree in public art at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design.

Since founding her eponymous practice in 2006, she has gone on to complete projects in her native country, as well as in London, California and Lisbon.

Here’s a look back at seven of Escobedo’s most significant projects so far:


Photograph is by Rafael Gamo

La Tallera, Mexico, 2012

A perforated concrete wall encloses the former home of painter David Alfaro Siqueiros, which Escobedo renovated to include a public gallery, painting workshop and artist’s residence.

The project involved moving two of Siqueiros’ large murals into a former private courtyard to frame a new entranceway for visitors.


Frida Escobedo key projects
Photograph is by José Fernando Sánchez

Casa Negra, Mexico City, 2006

Sat upon a grassy bank on the edges of Mexico City, Casa Negra was designed as a rural escape for one of Escobedo’s friends.

The black-painted home is raised up on pilotis and fronted by a glazed box, offering views of the surrounding landscape.


Frida Escobedo key projects
Photograph is by Rafael Gamo

El Eco Pavilion, Mexico City, 2010

This site-specific installation, designed for the Museo Experiemental El Eco, was Escobedo’s first solo project.

The work features stacks of pale concrete blocks that can be rearranged by visitors to create unique settings for performances, talks or gatherings.


Frida Escobedo key projects
Photograph is by Rafael Gamo

A Very Short Space of Time Through Very Short Times of Space, California, 2016

Escobedo referenced the sound patterns made by children trailing sticks across metal fences for this artwork, which is at Stanford Univerisity’s Graduate School of Business.

One of the building’s facades has been fitted with russet-hued steel lamellas that can be moved to create different noises.


Photograph courtesy of the V&A

You Know, you Cannot see Yourself so Well as by Reflection, London, 2015

The Aztec settlement of Tenochtitlan inspired this installation by Escobedo, which featured a series of curved and rectangular steel platforms suspended above a shallow pool in the V&A’s courtyard.

Each one’s surface has been sandblasted to create subtle stripes that are half-mirrored, half opaque.


Photograph is by Catarina Botello

Civic Stage, Portugal, 2013

Created for the Lisbon Triennial, this sloping timber stage was constructed by Escobedo in Mexico before being transported to Portugal.

Interested in the concepts of hierarchy and performance, the architect designed the platform to tilt higher as more members of the public stood on it.


Photograph is by Undine Pröhl

Boca Chica Hotel, Mexico, 2010

Escobedo teamed up with designer José Rojas for the overhaul of this 1950s hotel, which is set on Mexico’s Pacific coast in the beach town of Acapulco.

A selection of vintage furniture paired with lattice brickwork and mint-green decor helps creates a nostalgic aesthetic.

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