While visiting this year’s Serpentine Pavilion, the ArchDaily team has a chance to sit down with French-Lebanese architect Lina Ghotmeh, the designer behind the temporary structure built in the Kensington Gardens in London. The conversation touched upon Ghotmeh’s motivations and concepts that prompted this pavilion titled À table, conceived as an invitation to sit down together at a table, to enjoy sharing food and engaging in open dialogues. Delving into her Lebanese roots, the architect also expands on her methodology and the desire to create space for conversation and decision-making while encouraging conviviality among people of different backgrounds and experiences. The ArchDaily team also talked to Hans Ulrich Obrist, artistic director at the Serpentine Galleries, about the pavilion as a platform for architecture and the arts.
Serpentine Pavilion: The Latest Architecture and News
Bringing People Together Through Architecture: In Conversation with Lina Ghotmeh, the Designer of the 2023 Serpentine Pavilion
Since its launch in 2000, the Serpentine Pavilion has been providing renowned and emerging architects with a platform for design experimentation, becoming an important display of contemporary architecture. As we approach the inauguration date of the 2023 Serpentine Pavilion, designed by Lina Ghotmeh and titled “À Table", French for sitting together to eat, we look back at the last six editions of the famous annual structure.
Staged stories on community and identity, ephemeral architecture showed that in 2022 it doesn't have to be permanent to be powerful. A direct and popped-up public installation can shift from preparation to action, reclaiming and defining what makes a community unique. Highlighting installations to acknowledge linguistic diversity in NYC, a giant table to celebrate culinary in Barcelona, and a large-scale net in Dubai to represent the local culture, among others, these initiatives seek to understand ways in which local and regional expressions can help cities to be more equal and diverse.
Globalization has connected the world boundaryless. While it has also made information more accessible, it has led to homogeneity and identity crisis at melding unique societies and cultural expressions. Cultural differences are undeniable as globalization grows. Hence, as architecture produces common living standards, it can also highlight singularities. Festivals, installations, and pavilions, 2022 was the year to express local memories to be recognized and celebrated, setting Community and identity as central topics in ephemeral architecture throughout the year.
Lina Ghotmeh Selected as Designer of the 2023 Serpentine Pavilion, with a Proposal Aiming for the Smallest Possible Carbon Footprint
Beirut-born, Paris-based architect Lina Ghotmeh has been announced as the designer of the 22nd annual Serpentine Gallery Pavilion. Titled “À Table,” the French expression for sitting together to eat, her proposal introduces a slender wooden structure with nine pleated petals supported by radial ribs. Inside the pavilion, a ring of tables and benches invites visitors to enter, sit down and relax, eat or work together. According to the architect, the modest space and low-slung canopy is meant to make people feel close to the earth. The Serpentine Pavilion will be open from June to October 2023.
A few weeks ago, this year’s edition of the Serpentine Pavilion opened to the public. Designed by Chicago-based artist Theaster Gates, it’s an evocative project, its cylindrical form referencing American beehive kilns, English bottle kilns, and Musgum adobe homes found in Cameroon.
What the pavilion is named tells the viewer a lot more about its intentions as a spatial experience. Titled Black Chapel, it houses a spacious room with wraparound benches, and an oculus above that allows daylight to filter into the space. It’s a fairly minimal interior – designed as a site for contemplation and reflection. This minimal quality of Gates’ Serpentine Pavilion raises particularly interesting questions. How artists and architects opt for a “less is more” approach when designing meditative spaces, but also how these introspective spaces have been equally enhanced by ornamentation.
The 21st Serpentine Pavilion, Black Chapel, designed by Chicago-based artist Theaster Gates opens today, on June 10, 2022. On display until the 16th of October 2022, the project is realized with the architectural support of Adjaye Associates with Goldman Sachs’ patronage. In 2021, the Pavilion events program was planned to reflect Gates’ concept of interlinking architecture and music, particularly emphasizing artistic explorations of monastic sounds and hymns. The pavilion will act as a platform for Serpentine’s live program throughout the summer, offering the public space of reflection, connection, and joy.
Diébédo Francis Kéré founded his architecture practice Kéré Architecture, in Berlin, Germany in 2005, after a journey in which he started advocating for the building of quality educational architecture in his home country of Burkina Faso. Deprived of proper classrooms and learning conditions as a child, and having faced the same reality as the majority of children in his country, his first works aimed at bringing tangible solutions to the issues faced by the community.
American artist Theaster Gates unveiled his design for the 21st Serpentine Pavilion. Curated for the first time by a non-architect, the 2022 edition named Black Chapel, “will pay homage to British craft and manufacturing traditions”. Realized with the architectural support of Adjaye Associates, the pavilion will open to the public on Friday 10 June 2022, in Kensington Gardens.
The 20th Serpentine Pavilion, designed by Johannesburg-based practice Counterspace, directed by Sumayya Vally, opens today, on June 11, 2021, after 1-year postponement. On display until the 17th of October 2021, on the Serpentine Gallery’s lawn in Kensington Gardens, the project was captured by Mark Hazeldine. Check the exclusive photo series that highlights the story of the space.
The 20th Serpentine Pavilion, designed by Johannesburg-based practice Counterspace, directed by Sumayya Vally, will finally open on 11 June 2021. After its 1-year postponement due to the global pandemic, the temporary pavilion will stay on display until 17 October 2021, on the Serpentine Gallery’s lawn in Kensington Gardens.
The opening of the 20th Serpentine Pavilion, designed by South African Studio Counterspace, has been postponed to summer 2021. "Counterspace, directed by Sumayya Vally, Sarah de Villiers and Amina Kaskar, will collaborate with the Serpentine on a series of off-site and online research projects throughout 2020, which will culminate with the opening of the Pavilion in Summer 2021," the Serpentine Galleries announced.
BIG has just released images of No 1 Quayside, its latest office building in Newcastle. Designed in collaboration with local studio Xsite Architecture, the project’s curvature is directly inspired by the bridges over the River Tyne and the sloping neighboring hills.
Counterspace, a practice based in Johannesburg, South Africa, has been selected to design the Serpentine Pavilion 2020. The youngest architects to be commissioned this internationally renowned program, Sumayya Vally, Sarah de Villiers, and Amina Kaskar, are an all-women team leading the collaborative architectural studio.
Japanese architect Junya Ishigami's 2019 Serpentine Pavilion is taking shape in London. A series of photographs by Laurian Ghinitoiu showcase the project and its flowing, free-form roof. Ishigami is the second-youngest designer of the pavilion, and his work is known for a light and ephemeral approach. The design for the 2019 pavilion takes the form of a slate sheet rising from the landscape of the park, held up by pilotis that form an interior field.