The Serpentine Galleries has announced the expansion of their popular summer pavilion program, collaborating with Beijing’s WF Central to commission the inaugural Serpentine Pavilion Beijing. The first Serpentine Pavilion to be built outside of the Galleries’ Kensington Gardens home in London, the Beijing Pavilion will be located just 600 meters away from the historic Forbidden City in the Dongcheng District, where it will host a program of cultural activities and events.
The inaugural pavilion has been designed by emerging Chinese studio JIAKUN Architects, led by architect Liu Jiakun. Drawing both from the historical and social of Beijing and from the storied 17-year history of the Serpentine Pavilion commission, the design features an arched form that balances forces of tensions and compression.
“JIAKUN Architects’ Serpentine Pavilion Beijing takes inspiration from Confucianism with an architecture that is a physical representation of the traditional pursuit of Junzi,” explains the Serpentine Pavilion in a press release. “The design is characterised by a the figure of the Archer, in the form of a curved cantilever beam that incorporates the forces of elasticity through cables stretched between steel plates. Although modern architecture in Beijing has developed a series of powerful techniques to fight the external forces of fierce winds and unpredictable earthquakes, the Pavilion’s integral structures aims – like the Tai Chi Master – to conquer the harness of those forces with softness.”
JIAKUN Architects’ design was chosen by an 8-person selection committee that included:
- Hans Ulrich Obrist, artistic director of the Serpentine Galleries
- Yana Peel, CEO of the Serpentine Galleries
- Sir David Adjaye, trustee of the Serpentine Galleries and founder of Adjaye Associates
- David Glover, CEO of Intelligent Engineering and technical advisor to the Serpentine Pavilion Commission
- Raymond Chow and James Robinson, executive directors of Hongkong Land
- Wang Jianwei, artist
- Philip Dodd, director of Made in China
The inaugural Serpentine Pavilion Beijing will launch in May 2018 and will remain on display at WF Central for six months.
News via Serpentine Galleries