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2019 Serpentine Pavilion designer is Junya Ishigami

Ishigami’s vision is a dark sloping canopy, like a “hill made out of rocks”

Rendering of pavilion with slate roof
Serpentine Pavilion 2019, Design Render, Interior View.
Image: © Junya Ishigami + Associates courtesy Serpentine Galleries

This summer, a slate gray mass will float above the lawn outside of London’s Serpentine Gallery in Hyde Park. The piece, designed by rising star architect Junya Ishigami, is the latest installment of the Serpentine Galleries’ annual pavilion, which has seen fantastical structures designed by the likes of Frida Escobedo, Francis Kére, Sou Fujimoto, and Zaha Hadid.

Every year, the gallery picks a designer who hasn’t previously built in England to create an experimental pavilion on its grounds. Renderings of Ishigami’s vision show clusters of slate that slant upwards from the ground like a gently sloping rock face. The thin gray overhang is supported by a series of thin metal rods that give the darkly ethereal structure the appearance of a gloomy forest.

Rendering of two people standing in front of pavilion
Serpentine Pavilion 2019, Design Render, Exterior View.
Image: © Junya Ishigami + Associates courtesy Serpentine Galleries

Ishigami says his design is meant to look like a “hill made out of rocks.”

“My design for the pavilion plays with our perspectives of the built environment against the backdrop of a natural landscape, emphasizing a natural and organic feel as though it had grown out of the lawn,” he says.

As the founder of Junya Ishigami + Associates, Ishigami has spent the bulk of his career crafting structures that play with perspective, shape, and weight. Appropriately, the Serpentine Galleries, along with David Adjaye, the British architect behind the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., are looking to commission a series of augmented reality works to live alongside this year’s pavilion. Those works will explore how the technology can be used to reinvent our experience of cities. It’s a perfectly trippy combo, so watch out readers heading to London this summer!