This year, the Pavilion on the lawn by The Serpentine Gallery, in Hyde Park is designed by the French Architect, Jean Nouvel, his.first completed building in the UK
This Building is Red, very Red.
It features a strange French notion of naming something that did not need to be named in order to draw attention to that thing, thereby giving it more meaning and more substance than would otherwise be given. This began thirty years ago with, Le Bag, and Le Shirt, and Le Boutique, and Le Car, from Renault. This fad caught on and let’s face it certainly contributed to the notion of Le Pretentious Prat, or what Monty Python would call, “Le stating of le bleeding obvious”.
Jean Nouvel has revived this tradition by naming the sky, and the colour of the Building Red and what compliments that colour, le colour of the Kensington Gardens, Green.
My Spanish art teacher despised unnecessary signs, and hieroglyphics regarding them all as Fascistic. He was particularly offended by and indeed removed Heath and Safety notices like, “Do not use the Fire Bucket” for example. “Do not” was not in his vocabulary.
Years later I was asked to design about thirty shops for an oil company. These would be convenience stores attached to Petrol Filling Stations. I received my brief at the height of the Le Bag spin-off craze, I was asked to provide a large shopfront sign board, simply saying just one word, “SHOP” in 1 metre high letters.
In the spirit of my Spanish Art Teacher, Erasmo Fernandez who I loved, and at risk of losing my commission. I let my feeling be known to my employer.
“Surely, we can all see that it is a Shop,” I dared suggest.
Naturally, I compromised and gave them exactly what they wanted in the interest of paying my gas bill.
In due course that company were declared Les Bankrupt of ideas and they no longer exist.
Nevertheless the Pavilion is splendid and deserves a visit.
Remember the “Brown Bag” derived from Macy’s in New York, I am informed. Whatever must we all have next? Les Sick bag!
Excuse my tangent.