• Serpentine Pavilion 2019 by Junya Ishigami
    Amira Gad and Hans Ulrich Obrist
    Serpentine Galleries, London
    Jun 20, 2019 to Oct 06, 2019
    Serpentine Galleries

Junya Ishigami, Serpentine Pavilion 2019, Serpentine Gallery, London. Copyright Junya Ishigami + Associates. Photo: Norbert Tukaj.

Junya Ishigami’s design for the 2019 Serpentine Pavilion takes the most common architectural feature as its point of departure and inspiration: the roof. Bridging both architectural and cultural references and reminiscent of roofing tiles around the world, the curved slate canopy appears to emerge from the ground of the surrounding earth. Playing with perspectives of the built environment against a backdrop of the natural landscape, the Pavilion supplements traditional architecture with modern methodologies and concepts, creating a place that expands the scenery in a way unlike any previous Pavilion designs. The structure possesses the weighty presence of a slate roof as traditionally found in both Japan and the British Isles, while simultaneously appearing light and airy, as though the cluster of scattered rocks levitate, barely supported by spindle-thin columns. An enclosed cave-space acts as a refuge, juxtaposing the sheltered dark of the inner spaces to the open light entrance.

Junya Ishigami was born in Kanagawa prefecture in 1974. He acquired his master's degree in architecture and planning at Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music in 2000. Ishigami worked with Kazuyo Sejima from 2000 to 2004 at SANAA, before establishing Junya Ishigami + Associates in 2004. Ishigami exhibited for the Japanese pavilion at the 11th Venice Architecture Biennale in 2008; and was the youngest ever recipient of the Architectural Institute of Japan Prize for the Kanagawa Institute of Technology KAIT Workshop in 2009. In 2010 he won the Golden Lion for Best Project at the 12th Venice Architecture Biennale, and became an associate professor at Tohoku University in Japan. In 2014 he was made the Kenzo Tange Design Critic at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and has taught at Princeton University (2015), Academy of Architecture of Mendrisio (2016), and Oslo School of Architecture (2016); currently he teaches at Columbia University.

Hans Ulrich Obrist is artistic director of the Serpentine Galleries, an appointment he has coheld since 2005. He was voted number one most influential person in the art world by ArtReview in their annual Power 100 in 2016 and has appeared in the top ten for more than a decade, unwaveringly considered one of the world's foremost curators. In 2009 he was made Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), and in 2015 he received the International Folkwang Prize for his commitment to the arts. Obrist lectures internationally and is widely published.

Amira Gad is curator of art and architecture at the Serpentine Galleries. Curated exhibitions include Sondra Perry (2018), Arthur Jafa (2017), Zaha Hadid (2016), and Helen Marten (2016). That year she also cocurated group show Hack Space at K11 Art Foundation, Hong Kong and worked with architects Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), Asif Khan, Kunlé Adeyemi (NLE), Yona Friedman, and Barkow Leibinger. In 2018, Gad worked with Liu Jiakun on the Serpentine’s first Pavilion in Beijing. She copresented acclaimed Social Work at Frieze Art Fair, London, and was nominated as a woman leader of the art world by The Sunday Times.

Julie Burnell is head of construction and buildings at the Serpentine Galleries, where she has worked since 2004. During that time she has overseen the development and construction of the annual Serpentine Pavilion commission, working closely with international architects, engineers and construction teams to deliver a new building within a six month time frame. She also worked with Zaha Hadid Architects as the project leader on the renovation and extension of the Serpentine Sackler Gallery, which opened to the public for the first time in 2013.

The mission of the Serpentine Galleries is to exhibit, commission, and promote understanding of art, architecture, and design, through exhibitions, architecture, design, education, and public programs. Since 1970, the Serpentine has gained an international reputation for excellence, working with almost 3,000 artists, architects, and designers. The Galleries maintain free access, attracting up to 1.2 million visitors a year.