Today, the Serpentine Galleries in London announced Junya Ishigami as the designer of the 2019 Serpentine Pavilion, one of the year's most anticipated architectural events. His design responds to the brief with an innovative structure that explores the connection between architecture and nature.
Junya Ishigami is the 19th architect to be commissioned for the Serpentine Galleries' annual program, and the fourth Japanese architect to be involved with the design of the pavilion. Ishigami—who founded his firm in 2004 after leaving the Pritzker Prize-winning practice SANAA—is a pavilion veteran, having won the prestigious Golden Lion award at the 2010 Venice Architecture Biennale for the installation “Architecture as Air."
Beyond pavilions, other notable works include the impossibly lightweight Kanagawa Institute of Technology Workshop in Japan and the cloud-like House of Peace in Copenhagen.
Ishigami's temporary structure for Kensington Gardens will involve a single canopy roof made from slate that the architect says will resemble a hill made out 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," he said. "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."
Since Zaha Hadid's inaugural commission in 2000, the Serpentine Gallery has tapped celebrity architects such as Sou Fujimoto, Jean Nouvel, Herzog & de Meuron, and Peter Zumthor to take over Kensington Gardens for the summer. However, in recent years, the gallery has trended towards the work of promising young practices and Ishigami's selection follows the successful pavilions of fellow rising stars, Frida Escobedo (2018) and Diébédo Francis Kéré (2017).
The 2019 Serpentine Pavilion will open to the public on June 20th, remaining on display through October 6th.
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