The Serpentine launched their annual Pavilion this morning with a press view attended by the architect Junya Ishigami and the artistic director of the Serpentine Galleries Hans Ulrich Obrist.
Junya Ishigami is a Japanese born architect celebrated for his experimental structures that interpret traditional architectural conventions and reflect natural phenomena, has been selected to design the Serpentine Pavilion 2019.
The stunning curvaceous structure is fashioned from a gridded metal frame which holds tons of Cumbrian slate. It is propped up by slender white poles which seem invisible once inside. The natural materials create a murky wave of stone housing a coffee bar with amebic chairs and tables.
Ishigami’s design takes inspiration from roofs, the most common architectural feature used around the world. The design of the 2019 Serpentine Pavilion is made by arranging slates to create a single canopy roof that appears to emerge from the ground of the surrounding park. Within, the interior of the Pavilion is an enclosed cave-like space, a refuge for contemplation. For Ishigami, the Pavilion articulates his ‘free space’ philosophy in which he seeks harmony between man-made structures and those that already exist in nature.
Junya Ishigami (b. 1974) worked as an architect at SANAA before founding the prize-winning Junya Ishigami + Associates in 2004. Winner of the Golden Lion award at the Venice Biennale of Architecture in 2010, he was the subject of a significant and critically acclaimed solo exhibition at the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain in 2018 that is travelling to the Power Station of art in Shanghai later this year. He is known for designs with dream-like qualities that incorporate the natural world, such as landscapes, forests, and clouds, in an architectural practice that places humankind as part of nature.
The annual Serpentine Pavilion commission has become an international site for architectural experimentation, presenting projects by some of the world’s greatest architects, from Zaha Hadid in 2000 to Frida Escobedo in 2018.
The brief is to design a 300-square-meter Pavilion that is used as a community hub and café by day and a forum for learning, debate, and entertainment at night. Each Pavilion is sited on the Serpentine Gallery’s lawn for four months and the immediacy of the commission makes it a pioneering model worldwide.
The selection of an architect, someone who has consistently extended the boundaries of architectural practice but is yet to build a structure in London, is led by the curatorial approach that guides all Serpentine programming: introducing contemporary artists and architects to the widest public audience.
The Serpentine Pavilion is among the top ten most visited architectural and design exhibitions in the world. There is no budget for the project, which is realised through sponsorship, in-kind support and the sale of the Pavilion.
Photos: P C Robinson © Artlyst 2019
21 June 2019 – 06 October 2019 Times Tuesday – Sunday 10 am – 6 pm Cost Free Venue Serpentine Gallery Address Kensington Gardens, London, W2 3XA