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Serpentine Pavilion 2021 designed by Counterspace, Exterior View, photo by Iwan Baan, courtesy to Counterspace.

Serpentine Pavilion Celebrates its 20th Year in London

The 20th Serpentine Pavilion will open on June 11, designed by Johannesburg base practice Counterspace, directed by Sumayya Vally. The pavilion design is based on the past and present places of meeting, organizing and belonging across London. 

Responding to the historical erasure and scarcity of informal community spaces across the city, the design references and pays homage to existing and erased places that have held communities over time and continue to do so today. Its forms are a result of abstracting, superimposing and splicing architectural elements, varying in scales of intimacy, from various locations, translating the shapes of London into the structure in Kensington Gardens. 

Serpentine Pavilion 2021 designed by Counterspace, Exterior View, photo by Iwan Baan, courtesy to Counterspace.

“My practice, and this pavilion, is centered around amplifying and collaborating with multiple and diverse voices from many different histories; with an interest in themes of identity, community, belonging and gathering,” said Vally.

The pavilion references the architecture of markets, restaurants, places of worship, bookshops and local cultural institutions that are particularly significant to diasporic and cross-cultural communities in neighborhoods including Brixton, Hoxton, Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Edgware Road, Barking and Dagenham, Peckham and Notting Hill.

A new fellowship program is also conceived to support artists, Support Structures for Support Structures, in collaboration with Serpentine Pavilion 2021 architects. The fellowship will support up to 10 artists and collectives in London with an unrestricted grant of at least £10,000 to develop their creative ideas. Grantees will be announced in July and will be invited to join an interdisciplinary network of support, development workshops and mentoring.

Serpentine Pavilion 2021 designed by Counterspace, Exterior View, photo by Iwan Baan, courtesy to Counterspace.

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