Jean Nouvel paints the town red

Like some red-coated relic of the industrial revolution, Jean Nouvel's recently completed Serpentine Pavilion opens its...walls, for the first time this weekend.

Inspired by the hue "of London buses and postboxes" the dramatic, cantilevered structure stands 12m above the contrasting green of Hyde Park. The distinctive design shouldn't come as a surprise, the French starchitect's gigantic electric blue concert hall in Copenhagen garnered international attention when it opened last year.

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The pavilion will play host to the Serpentine Gallery café alongside a series of "Park Nights" which will include exhibitions, screenings and performances from the likes of Animal Collective's John Maus. Day time activities are to revolve around the bright red table tennis tables, draughts, chess sets, frisbees and kites Nouvel has dotted within and around the pavilion.

Nouvel's pavilion - his first UK-based project - is the tenth to be erected in the surrounds of The Serpentine Gallery, which also celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. A fitting nod then to one of London's best-loved institutions.

John Nouvel's pavilion will remain in situ from 10 July – 17 October at Serpentine Gallery, Kensington Gardens, London, W2 3XA, 020 7402 6075. www.serpentinegallery.org

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