The inaugural Serpentine Pavilion Beijing has launched in China – the gallery’s first to be built outside of the UK.
Serpentine Galleries teamed up with WF Central to co-commission the temporary architectural structure, which riffs on its annual commission at London’s Kensington Gardens and was designed by JIAKUN Architects.
Inspired by Confucianism, the cantilevered structure sits just 600 metres from the Forbidden City at the WF Central site. It comprises 38 steel rods that curve like an archer’s bow, and are held taught by cables stretched between steel plates.
Though delicate to look at, the temporary pavilion is strong enough to withstand strong winds and earthquakes, balancing forces.
JIAKUN Architects’ design was selected by a panel including the Serpentine’s artistic director Hans Ulrich Obrist and CEO Yana Peel, as well as architects Sir David Adjaye and artist Wang Jianwei. It is open to the public until 31 October 2018 and will host a series of talks.
Back in London, the Serpentine Galleries is preparing for the launch of its 2018 Serpentine Pavilion, designed by Mexican architect Frida Escobedo. She’s created a diaphanous courtyard structure, which officially opens to the public on 15 June and is designed to filter light through its latticed walls.
The annual London commission was launched in 2000 and has featured pavilions by the late Zaha Hadid, Sou Fujimoto and artist Ai Weiwei among others. And while the Serpentine Pavilion Beijing is the first to be commissioned for foreign soil, many previous pavilions have enjoyed second lives overseas, including Francis Kéré’s 2017 Pavilion (now in Malaysia).
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