They will take over the annual project of this London art gallery in place of Fry Otto, who was originally entrusted with the task.
But Otto's option, according to the gallery's owners, is very difficult and cannot be realized until July of this year, when the pavilion is due to open. Therefore, it was decided to postpone it until next year, 2008, and for now invite Eliasson and Thorsen.
The fact that now projects within the framework of this program are being developed by more than one architect independently, but in collaboration with the artist, is also an innovation of the curators. Already last year, artist Thomas Demand helped Rem Koolhaas to build his pavilion in Kensington Gardens. Now there will be equality between the authors: Eliasson has collaborated more than once with the architects of Snohetta, the most famous of their joint project is the New National Opera House in Oslo. Olafur Eliasson also opened his studio-laboratory in Berlin to study the interaction and mutual influence of the individual and space, and in 2005 he developed a project for the Congress Center and a concert hall in Reykjavik together with Danish architect Hanning Larsen.
Fry Otto declines to comment on the current situation; however, the last-minute change of architect is not the first time for the Serpentine summer pavilion program: in 2004 the ambitious project of the Dutch MVRDV was postponed for a year, but eventually replaced by a more modest one - Portuguese architects Alvaro Siza and Eduardo Souto de Moura. Then the director of the gallery, Julia Peyton-Jones, also promised to implement the "postponed" project "in the future", but this has not yet been done.