Mexican architect Frida Escobedo has created a pavilion inspired by the Aztec city of Tenochtitlán inside the V&A’s John Madejski Garden.
Titled You Know You Cannot See Yourself So Well As By Reflection, the installation is made from layers of reflective surfaces that reference the Aztec city’s location on Lake Texcoco.
‘The pavilion is an abstraction of this first settlement in the lake,’ said Escobedo, ‘a mirrored system of platforms that resembles the city’s grid and the sheen of the water as it was first described by Cortez’s men’.
Part of celebrations marking the Year of Mexico in the United Kingdom – a program of exhibitions, concerts and festivals exploring the country’s cultural heritage – the pavilion is also the first in the V&A’s 2015 London Design Festival installations, most of which will be unveiled in September.
Escobedo’s installation casts a new light on its surrounds, picking up details of the building on its reflective surfaces. It follows other works commissioned by the V&A and London Design Festival that show the building in a fresh light. Last year, British designers Barber & Osgerby created Double Space – a duo of rotating sculptures suspended from the ceiling of the Raphael Gallery that mirrored the surrounding architecture and art.
The Mexican pavilion will evolve over the summer months as surfaces are reconfigured and adapted to accommodate events and activities. It will remain in situ until 2 October after the London Design Festival closes.