The Serpentine Pavilion has unveiled the design of its 21st edition. Artist Theaster Gates, the first non-architectural person to receive this prestigious commission, will be assessing an An outdoor, light-filled chapel for spiritual meditation and group gathering In Kensington Gardens this summer,
Gates drew inspiration from the kilns of Stoke-on-Trent, a city in central England famous for its pottery. Its pavilion will take the form of a wooden round hall with a skylight that will illuminate the space with sunlight.
According to Serpentine, a large bell, rescued from the Church of St.
The black chapelThe project, as the project is called, will open to the public on June 10.
“The name is important because it reflects the unseen parts of my artistic practice. It acknowledges the role sacred music and sacred arts have played in my practice, and the collective quality of these emotional and community initiatives,” Gates said in a statement.
The project shares a title with the 2019 Artist Commission for the Design of the Central Lobby of the Haus der Kunst Museum in Munich, organized by the late curator Okwui Enwezor.
“The black chapel He also suggests that in these times there can be a place where one can take a break from the stress of the day and spend some time in peace,” Gates continued. “I have always wanted to build spaces that take into account the power of sound and music as a healing mechanism and an emotional force that allows people to enter a space of deep thought and/or deep engagement.”
Architect David Adjaye will help build the chapel, which is made almost entirely of wood and designed to be dismantled and recreated in a more permanent location in the future.
Adjaye also served as a consultant, along with architect David Glover, on the pavilion’s selection committee. The rest of the committee is made up of Serpentine staff members: Technical Director Hans Ulrich Obrist, CEO Bettina Korek, Director of Construction and Special Projects Julie Burnell, Director of Regulatory Affairs and General Practice Yesomi Umolu, and Curator Natalia Grabowska.
“One of the most important voices working today, Gates’ hands-on brings together formalities and concepts with the powerful impact he feels throughout the communities in which he works and beyond,” said Obrist and Korek of the artist in their statement.
A commission to design a temporary structure near the two Serpentine Galleries in Kensington Gardens has been awarded annually to an international architect or firm since 2000. (2020 commission pushed into 2021 due to pandemic).
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