Johannesburg-based collaborative Counterspace will design the iconic Pavilion in Kensington Gardens
Counterspace, directed by the all-female team of Sumayya Vally, Sarah de Villiers and Amina Kaskar, has been selected to design the Serpentine Pavilion 2020. They are the youngest ever architects to be commissioned for this internationally renowned architecture programme, now in its 20th year. With International Women's Day just around the corner, we couldn't be more excited to shine the spotlight on this incredible women-only project.
Using both innovative and traditional building techniques, Counterspace’s design will be based on gathering spaces and community places around the city, folding London in to the Pavilion structure in Kensington Gardens, and extending a public programme across London.
It will include moveable small parts that will be displaced to neighbourhoods across London. Following community events at these locations, the parts will be returned to the structure, completing it over the summer.
Employing a mix of low-tech and high-tech approaches to sustainability, the Pavilion will be constructed from a variety of materials.
Counterspace is a collaborative architectural studio. Much of their work emerges from research and interdisciplinary arts-based projects, undertaking predominantly architectural projects, community engagement, exhibition and installation conceptualisation and urban research, design and intervention.
It is the 20th practice to accept the invitation to design a temporary Pavilion on the Serpentine Gallery’s lawn. This pioneering commission, which began in 2000 with Creative Entrepreneurs Founding Ambassador, Zaha Hadid, has grown into a highly-anticipated showcase for emerging talent, from Frida Escobedo of Mexico to Bjarke Ingels of Denmark, whose 2016 Pavilion was the most visited architectural and design exhibition in the world.
Practitioners in the fields of art, architecture, music, film, theory and dance will be commissioned to create new, site-specific works in response to the Counterspace design, offering unique ways to experience architecture and performance.
Serpentine Galleries Artistic Director Hans Ulrich Obrist said:
"We are thrilled to be working with Counterspace on our 20th Pavilion in our 50th anniversary year. They bring an African perspective, an international perspective but they are working with locations and communities right here in London and their Pavilion design is inspired by that work. In everything the Serpentine does we want to make those connections between artists, architects and communities wherever they are."
Running from 11 June - 11 October 2020
- Amina Kaskar, Sumayya Vally and Sarah de Villiers of Counterspace. Photographed by Justice Mukheli in Johannesburg, 2020. © Counterspace
- Serpentine Pavilion 2020 designed by Counterspace, Design Render, Interior View © Counterspace
- Serpentine Pavilion 2020 designed by Counterspace, Design Render, Exterior View © Counterspace