2019 Serpentine Pavilion Unveiled
The latest Serpentine Pavilion structure—a project erected each summer in London’s Hyde Park—has been unveiled by Japanese architect Junya Ishigami.
Located on the lawn outside of the Serpentine Gardens within London’s Kensington Gardens is a jagged pavilion that Ishigami is describing as a “hill made out of rocks.”
The pavilion itself is composed of 61 tons of Cumbrian slate situated on top of a slim steel structure, which is then supported by a grid of 106 randomly placed pin-ended columns to create a forest-like underbelly.
"A stone creates a landscape, and a landscape usually sits outside of a building. I wanted to create the landscape inside the building, as a theory of the landscape that the stone creates outside," said Ishigami.
According to Metalocus, Ishigami’s design was inspired by roofs and make it look as though it is something from nature. Through a rough triangular shape, corners of the pavilion stretch down to touch the concrete so that it, “appears to emerge from the ground of the surrounding park.”
As the 19th architect to design a Serpentine Pavilion, Ishigami worked with engineering firm AECOM to give the pavilion a seemingly lightweight appearance.
"To achieve Ishigami's vision of an 'unstable' structure holding up the heavy layers of metamorphic rock as though it was weightless, the size and profile of the structural steel frame was rationalized to the extent that it is nearly six times lighter than the 60-tonne slate it supports," said Michael Orr, AECOM's principal engineer.
"The steel ties that connect the column heads together act predominantly in tension, tying the pavilion down to anchor points in each of the three corners, with bracing elements creating a stiffening 'hem' around the pavilion perimeter.”
Additionally, the interior of the pavilion, also known has the “free space,” includes tables and stools designed by Ishigami to resemble lily pads.
The pavilion will be open to the public from June 21 to Oct. 6, during which time it will be the home of various events throughout the summer and fall. After its final days in October, the structure will be sold and moved to a new location.
Following the sale, a commission will be awarded to an architect whom has yet to complete the annual Serpentine Pavilion project.