Serpentine Pavilion 2021

The Serpentine’s annual architectural commission showcases new temporary buildings by international architects. Open annually from June-October, the Serpentine Pavilion hosts live programmes and events. For the first time since the annual architecture programme was founded in 2000 the Pavilion, designed by Counterspace, has been extended into a two-year commission.

Counterspace’s design will be based on gathering spaces and community places around the city, folding London into the Pavilion structure in Kensington Gardens. The shapes of the Pavilion are created from a process of addition, superimposition, subtraction and splicing of architectural forms. These will be directly transcribed from existing spaces with particular relevance to migrant and other peripheral communities in London, including Brixton, Edgware Road, Barking and Dagenham and Hoxton.


Serpentine Pavilion 2020/2021 designed by Counterspace, Design Render, Exterior View © Counterspace Serpentine Pavilion 2021 is curated by Natalia Grabowska, Assistant Curator.

We’ve always relied on places of gathering to come together and we miss them when they’re gone. COVID-19 has brought the Pavilion themes of community and gathering sharply into focus. The pavilion is itself conceived as an event — the coming together of a variety of forms from across London over the course of the Pavilion’s sojourn. These forms are imprints of some of the places, spaces and artefacts which have made care and sustenance part of London’s identity. The breaks, gradients and distinctions in colour and texture between different parts of the Pavilion make this reconstruction and piecing together legible at a glance. As an object, experienced through movement, it has continuity and consistency, but difference and variation are embedded into the essential gesture at every turn.

Sumayya Vally, Counterspace

Serpentine Pavilion 2021

Serpentine Pavilion 2020/2021 designed by Counterspace, Design Render, Interior View © Counterspace