letter from london | august 2011

courtesy of vitorio benedetti

by Melanie Nelson

Every Summer I take the dog to see the Serpentine Pavilion in Kensington Gardens – now in its 11th year. I have to admit I was a huge fan of Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2010 by Jean Nouvel.

Though I do love the idea of this year’s secret garden by Peter Zumthor.  See a video on YouTube

The black monolithic exterior was stark and dark, a planned contrast I suppose to the natural delights within. So I was a bit disappointed that so little was made of the garden I guess it illustrates the limitations of the instant wilderness I was expecting. Planting around the Walls would have been good and though there were a few people sitting inside our little group felt claustrophobic and quickly left, mind you there is a lot of competition.

The sunken gardens nearby are always magical and the next day’s walk took me to Ravenscourt Park west London which holds a fabulous secret garden at this time of year.

I have been travelling through London a lot this past week or so. North south east west –  I dont know if it’s my impatience, but I am sure the traffic in London is worse than ever at the moment. God knows how we will cope this time next year when The Olympics are in town.

On the plus side it does give me the chance to study at leisure any new buildings going up in London and its environs. Particularly The Shard which is emerging from the murky clay between London Bridge and Tower Tower Bridge.

I didn’t think I would like it, its main claim to fame being the tallest biggest etc., but actually I think it’s looking pretty good on the skyline so looking forward to seeing the finished thing.

Finally this month we lost perhaps London’s greatest living contemporary Artist.
Lucian Freud 1922 -2011

melanie nelsonMelanie Nelson is the co-founder of Addison Nelson Design and AND Furniture.  She is based in London working on a diverse range of exclusive private and commercial interiors in South East Asia and Europe.


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