All-woman team Counterspace commissioned to design 2020 Serpentine Pavilion
By Justine Testado|
Monday, Feb 10, 2020
For its 20th edition, the Serpentine Pavilion will be designed by Counterspace, an all-woman team comprised of Amina Kaskar, Sumayya Vally, and Sarah de Villiers. Founded in Johannesburg in 2015, the practice focuses on research and interdisciplinary arts-based projects, with an emphasis on architectural projects and community engagement.
Counterspace's concept for the Serpentine reflects their focus on inclusivity. Combining traditional and innovative building techniques, their design is a poetic interpretation of the gathering, community-oriented spaces around London.
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 [the city]”. It features moveable small parts that will temporarily be displaced to neighborhoods across London. After the community events at those locations are done, the parts will be returned to the structure.
Their design also uses various sustainable materials like cork and K-Briq-modules, which are made from 90 percent recycled construction and demolition waste and are manufactured without firing.
“The pavilion is itself conceived as an event — the coming together of a variety of forms from across London over the course of the Pavilion's sojourn,” said Sumayya Vally, the lead architect of the project, in a statement. “These forms are imprints of some of the places, spaces, and artifacts which have made care and sustenance part of London's identity. The breaks, gradients, and distinctions in color and texture between different parts of the Pavilion make this reconstruction and piecing together legible at a glance...”
Serving as a space for debate and new ideas, the Pavilion will host a live program of events this summer, including those related to the Serpentine Gallery's multi-platform “Back to Earth” project about the global climate emergency.
The Serpentine Pavilion will be open at the Serpentine Galleries' lawn at Kensington Gardens from June 11-October 11, 2020.
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