This year’s cylindrical structure will host live performances throughout the summer.
This year’s Serpentine Pavilion could not be more different than the previous iteration. Instead of an sole architect or practice, the 2022 structure has been designed by Chicago-based artist Theaster Gates with the architectural support of Adjaye Associates. Unveiled in June and open until October 2022, Gates’ enclosed, dark creation could not be more of a contrast to 2021’s open structure by Counterspace.
Gates has looked to the world’s architectural typologies for inspiration, from Cameroon’s Musgum mud huts to the bottle kilns of Stoke-on-Trent, from the Roman tempiettos to the Kasubi tombs in Uganda.
The 2022 Pavilion is a cylindrical structure constructed of plywood and timber and is a more sustainable offering than previous years. It can be entered through two doorways, while an oculus in the roof lets light flow in. Inside are seven panels, featuring a series of tar paintings by Gates. Outside one entrance is a bronze bell, salvaged from the former Catholic church of St Laurence in Chicago. Described as a ‘chamber’, the Pavilion will host live performances throughout the summer.
Gates follows in the footsteps of previous Pavilion creators Zaha Hadid, Jean Nouvel, Frank Gehry, Oscar Niemeyer, Sou Fujimoto, Smiljan Radić, Selgascano, Frida Escobedo, Junya Ishigami and last year’s Counterspace.
- The Serpentine Pavilion is open until 16 October 2022. Free to visit, but you may need to wait to enter. Serpentine Pavilion, Kensington Gardens, W2 3XA. Nearest stations: Lancaster Gate, Knightsbridge or South Kensington. For more information, visit the Serpentine Gallery website.