Japanese architect Junya Ishigami has been selected to design the 2019 Serpentine Pavilion, a prestigious annual commission, now in its 19th year, from London's Serpentine Gallery. Ishigami's proposal is centered around the concept of the roof—"the most common architectural feature used around the world," according to a press release. The pavilion will feature a canopy made from dark slate, creating a cavelike interior.
"My design for the pavilion plays with our perspectives of the built environment against the backdrop of a natural landscape, emphasizing a natural and organic feel as though it had grown out of the lawn, resembling a hill made out of rocks," Ishigami said of his proposal in the same release. "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."
Previously an architect with Tokyo-based SANAA, Ishigami founded his eponymous Tokyo-based practice in 2004. In 2010 he was awarded the Golden Lion award at the Venice Biennale of Architecture and last year he was featured in a solo exhibition at the Fondation Cartier in Paris. He joins other celebrated architects who have designed the pavilion including Francis Kéré, Hon. FAIA, (2017); Bjarke Ingels Group (2016); SelgasCano (2015); Smiljan Radic (2014); and last year's designer Frida Escobedo. Zaha Hadid designed the first of the annual summer pavilions in 2000.
"We are thrilled to be able to share the designs for Junya Ishigami’s Serpentine Pavilion—a structure informed by the natural world and situated in the middle of one of London’s greenest spaces: Kensington Gardens," Serpentine Galleries artistic director Hans Ulrich Obrist and CEO Yana Peel said in the same release. "The pavilion and its accompanying program will be central to the Serpentine’s General Ecology strand—an ongoing investigation into complex systems, interspecies landscapes and the environment."
This year's pavilion program has been expanded to include a display from the winning Serpentine Augmented Architecture design competition hosted in a collaboration with Google Arts & Culture and British-Ghanaian architect David Adjaye, Hon. FAIA. The brief calls for proposals that envision "imaginary city spaces and speculations on the built environment to be developed and experienced in augmented reality."
"Both projects bring to life a brilliant conjunction of experiments in technology and creative vision," Obrist and Peel said in the release. "We hope all visitors of all ages will enjoy the spaces as we continue in our mission to bring art and architecture to the widest audiences."
The 2019 Serpentine Pavilion will be open to the public from June 20 to Oct. 6. The Serpentine Augmented Architecture competition is accepting entries until Feb. 25.