Every year since 2000, the Serpentine Galleries in London's Kensington Gardens have commissioned the design and construction of a temporary pavilion to stand out front for six months. The commissions go to architectural firms which do not yet have a building in Britain. In 2016, it was BIG, or the Bjarke Ingels Group of Denmark who won the commission.

Serpentine Pavilion 2016 in Kensington Gardens, by Fred Romero on FlickrSerpentine Pavilion 2016 in Kensington Gardens, by Fred Romero on Flickr

The pavilion was created with a simple shape: extruded square tubes, open at the ends, and forming one wall at the top, but pulling apart—or unzipping—into two billowing walls close to the ground. Assembled in a way to make it easy to disassemble and then reassemble again, the structure—simply a place to gather with others—was bought by Westbank Corp following its time in London.

Now, the pavilion is being reassembled in a parking lot on King Street West near Portland Street in Toronto, on land owned by Allied REIT, and where Allied and its partner Westbank will be building a retail, office, and residential complex designed by BIG. In advance of a sales pavilion coming to the site, the Serpentine Pavilion is now being erected in Toronto as an exhibition space to introduce BIG to the city before their first permanent design here arrives on King.

The Unzipped fence in the King St. West parking lot, image by Craig WhiteThe Unzipped fence in the King St. West parking lot, image by Craig White

Entitled 'Unzipped Toronto', the structure will be completed soon and open from mid-summer through the fall. We'll know a lot more about it soon, but with work underway now, and with the necessary re-zoning changes for the redevelopment of the site now heading for July City Council, we know you would be happy to get the early word.

The Unzipped pavilion under construction in the King St. West parking lot, imageThe Unzipped pavilion under construction in the King St. West parking lot, image by Craig White

We will be back with much more soon on what you'll see at the pavilion, but in the meantime, to see images of what's proposed for the site's redevelopment, click on our King St. West database file, linked below. To see more images of what's going on in the parking lot now, or to get in on the conversation, close the associated Forum thread, or you can leave a comment in the space provided on this page.