It feels as though Junya Ishigami’s Pavilion was only unveiled in time for the summer months a few weeks ago, and yet the time has already come that the Serpentine Gallery presents their 2020 pick to design this year’s Pavilion structure. Stemming from Johannesburg, the collaborative architectural studio Counterspace, made up of the all-woman team of Sumayya Vally, Sarah de Villiers and Amina Kaskar, have accepted the honour in designing this year’s Pavilion on its 20th anniversary.
As the Serpentine Gallery notes, ‘using both innovative and traditional techniques, Counterspace’s design will be based on gathering spaces and community places around the city, folding London into the Pavilion structure in Kensington Gardens, and extending a public programme across London.’ Moreover, ‘the shapes of the Pavilion are created from a process of addition, superimposition, subtraction and splicing of architectural forms, directly transcribed from existing spaces with particular relevance to migrant and other peripheral communities in London.’
Constructed from a variety of materials including custom K-briq-modules and cork provided by Amorim, which are made from 90% recycled construction and demolition waste, this year’s Pavilion will consist of moveable parts which will be dispersed across neighbourhoods in London before being returned to the original location in time for the opening. By doing so, lead architect of Counterspace Sumayya Vally hopes to show how the pavilion should in itself be conceived as an event which brings together a variety of forms across London. As she notes, ‘these forms are imprints of some of the places, spaces and artefacts which have made care and sustenance part of London’s identity.’
The Serpentine Gallery’s celebration of the Pavilion’s 20th anniversary will allow for a place of new ideas and debate. The Serpentine will host a live programme running throughout the summer which ‘connects to the Serpentine’s ambitious multi-platform project Back to Earth and sets out to explore questions such as: how can architecture create a space where we are all linked, not ranked? How can architecture promote wellbeing? And, can a structure evolve and change together with the environment?’
Open as of 11 June 2020 until 11 October 2020, the Pavilion is an annual must-visit event which defines London as a significant arts and cultural hub, both nationally and internationally.