Pavilion design on the Serpentine Gallery in Kensington Gardens by Ishigami
A slate canopy indicating nature that seems to rise from the grounds of the surrounding park will descend over Kensington Gardens in London this summer, when Junya Ishigami installs the 19th edition of the Serpentine Pavilion.
Toothpick-thin columns will support the heavy mass of the roof, which is to ascend gently up from the grass towards the sky on precariously thin stilts.
This type of fragile balance is said to be characteristic of Ishigami and his practice Junya Ishigami + Associates. The design for the 2019 Serpentine Pavilion takes roofs, the most common architectural feature, as its point of departure and inspiration. It is reminiscent of roofing tiles seen around the world, bridging both architectural and cultural references through this single architectural feature.
According to Ishigami,” My design for the Pavilion plays with our perspectives of the built environment against the backdrop of a natural landscape, emphasising a natural and organic feel as though it had grown out of the lawn, resembling a hill made of rocks. This is an attempt to supplement traditional architecture with modern methodologies and concepts, to create in this place an expanse of scenery like never seen before. Possessing the weighty presence of slate roofs seen around the world, and simultaneously appearing so light it could blow away in the breeze, the cluster of scattered rock levitates, like a billowing piece of fabric.”
The interior of the Pavilion is perceived by the architect as an enclosed cave-like space, a refuge for contemplation. “For me,” says Ishigami, “the Pavilion articulates a ‘free space’ philosophy alluding to the harmony between man-made structures and those that already exist in nature. “
Winner of the Golden Lion award at the Venice Biennale of Architecture in 2010, Ishigami was the subject of a major and critically acclaimed solo exhibition at the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain in 2018 that is traveling 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.
He is the 19th architect to accept the invitation to design a temporary Pavilion on the Serpentine Gallery’s lawn in Kensington Gardens. This pioneering commission, which began in 2000 with Zaha Hadid, has presented the first UK structures by some of the biggest names in international architecture. In recent years it has grown into a highly-anticipated showcase for emerging talent, from Frida Escobedo of Mexico to Francis Kéré of Burkina Faso and Bjarke Ingels of Denmark, whose 2016 Pavilion was the most visited architectural and design exhibition in the world.
Pavilion designs from 2013 to the 2018:
The Pavilion design on the Serpentine Gallery in Kensington Gardens, in 2013 by Son Fugimoto
The 2015 Pavilion by Selgascano
2016 design by Asif Khan