Art Review: Serpentine Pavilion by Junya Ishigami

Art Review: Serpentine Pavilion by Junya Ishigami

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The ever-popular Serpentine Pavilion is back this summer, with Junya Ishigami bringing a ‘levitating cluster of scattered rocks’ to Hyde Park.

Established in 1970, Serpentine Gallery is a world-renowned art institution based in London’s beautiful Hyde Park. The gallery comprises the Serpentine and Sackler Galleries (the latter designed by Zaha Hadid in 2013), based on either side of their namesake the Serpentine Lake.

In addition to ongoing contemporary art exhibitions, the gallery is also home to the summer Serpentine Pavilion commission. This annual architecture commission is ‘a global platform for experimental projects by some of the world’s greatest architects’. Every year since 2000, the gallery invites an international design team that has never worked in the UK before to design a pavilion within a set budget. Their design will then be at the heart of the garden throughout the summer. The idea is to create a multi-purpose space for the public to enjoy and make use of. Serpentine also collaborates with COS to run a series of events within the space called COS x Serpentine Galleries: park nights.

With a portfolio spanning over ten decades worth of projects ranging from archeological digs to multi-colored canopy’s, the pavilion commission has been transformed into something completely different every year. Previous architects include Rem Koolhaas, Frank Gehry, Jean Nouvel, Peter Zumthor and the inaugural design by Zaha Hadid.

This year saw Japanese architect Junya Ishigami join the list of esteemed architects who have been commissioned for the project in the past. Celebrated for his experimental structures that interpret traditional architectural conventions and reflect natural phenomena, his final design was no exception. Taking inspiration from roofs, one of the most common architectural features in the world, the structure is made by arranging slates to create a single canopy that emerges from the ground, within, the interior of the Pavilion is an enclosed cave-like space. The project aims to find a middle ground between man-made spaces and those which already exist in nature.

Underneath Junya Ishigami's Serpentine Pavilion installation

Underneath Junya Ishigami’s Serpentine Pavilion installation, image courtesy of Norbert Tukaj

Describing the project, Ishigami said this pavilion “plays with perspectives of the built environment against the backdrop of a natural landscape emphasising a natural and organic feel as though it had grown out of the lawn, resembling a hill made out of rocks.”

This is a must-see for art lovers! Make the most of the final days of summer with a stroll around Hyde Park and a visit to this year’s spectacular Serpentine pavilion. Junya Ishigami’s design will be open until 18th October 2019, for more information visit the website here.

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