announced that Lebanese-born, Paris-based architect Lina Ghotmeh, has been selected to conceive the 22nd Pavilion. Ghotmehs Pavilion will be unveiled at Serpentine South in June 2023 with Goldman Sachs supporting the annual project for the 9th consecutive year.
This pioneering and prestigious commission, which began in 2000 with Dame Zaha Hadid, has presented the first completed UK structures by some of the biggest names and emerging talents in international architecture. The Pavilion has evolved over the years as a participatory public and artistic platform for the Serpentines experimental, interdisciplinary, community and family programmes.
Ghotmeh leads her practice Lina Ghotmeh Architecture in Paris, France, where she develops projects at the crossroads of architecture, art and design, on a global scale. Considerate of social conditions, environments and materials, her practice takes an in-depth 360° approach to its projects including thorough research on location history, typology of the place, materials, resources, and users habits.
The 22nd Pavilion will continue this ongoing practice of Archaeology of the future, exploring notions of memory, space and landscape through the architects own personal methodology.
Next year's Pavilion will be titled À table, the French call to sit down together at a table and will allude to a sense of unity with the form of its structure and an organic design of a table as well as seating formation inviting human interactions. Inspired by nature and echoing the grounds and canopies of the trees and its surroundings, the idea of togetherness and community will take centre stage in Ghotmehs structural architecture.
Lina Ghotmeh, Architect said: À table is an invitation to dwell together, in the same space and around the same table. It is an encouragement to enter into a dialogue, to convene and to think about how we could reinstate and re-establish our relationship to nature and the Earth.
The Earth that embraces us is our first source of sustenance; without it, we living beings, could not survive. Rethinking what and how much we eat how we consume and how we weave our relationships to one another and the living world moves us towards a more sustainable, eco-systemic communion with the Earth. Our cuisine grounds us home; it reminds us how linked we are to the climates in which we grew up. As a Mediterranean woman, born and raised in Beirut, and living in Paris, I feel a deep belonging to our ground, to what it contains, and to what it embraces: from the buried yet weathering archaeologies of past civilisations to the embedded living world that spurs green life to sprout from every crack in the streets.
In my practice as an architect, I excavate to design (and learn) from the traces of the past and I listen to the voices of my ancestors as well as those of our living world. These voices vividly resonate with future structures as ways to influence and challenge tomorrows architecture.
In todays changing times, this Pavilion offers a celebratory space. It is endowed with a table, around which we will sit together in a modest, low structure and in an atmosphere reminiscent of Toguna huts of the Dogon people in Mali, West Africa, designed to bring all members of a community together in discussion. Here we can eat, work, play, meet, talk, rethink, and decide.
Built with bio-sourced and low-carbon materials, the structure appears like a skeleton. Sustainably sourced timber ribs are arranged to support a suspended pleated roof. Echoing the structures of tree leaves, the Pavilion embraces the nature of the park in which it emerges. Reminding us of the many lives blossoming beneath our feet, the concave lines of its perimeter are drawn from the forms in the stems and canopies of adjacent trees.
While rooted in its place and welcoming the space of the park with its open gallery-like envelope, the Pavilion grows as an adaptable system. It can be disassembled and reassembled, allowing it to live beyond its Serpentine site, while holding the memory of its original ground.
Bettina Korek, Chief Executive, and Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director, said: We are thrilled to present Lina Ghotmehs first structure in the UK here at Serpentine next summer. Her design for À table draws on natural elements that reflect its surroundings in Kensington Gardens and expands on our mission of creating connections between architecture and society by promoting unity and togetherness in its form and function. We are endlessly grateful to our loyal partners and supporters, for making Ghotmehs brilliant concept for a Pavilion built from state-of-the-art sustainable materials into an inspiring reality, for the people of London and for our visitors from around the world to enjoy all summer. As Etel Adnan once told us, The world needs togetherness, not separation. Love, not suspicion. A common future, not isolation.
Placing nature, the organic and sustainability at its core, Ghotmehs Pavilion will be designed to minimise its carbon footprint and environmental impact, in line with Serpentines sustainability policy. The predominantly timber structure will be light-weight and fully demountable, with a focus on sustainably sourced materials and the reusability of the structure after its time installed at Serpentine.
Throughout the Summer, the Serpentine Pavilion 2023 will become a platform for Serpentines programme which will feature Park Nights, the interdisciplinary platform for live encounters in music, poetry, spoken words, and dance, running alongside Serpentines Education and Civic activations.
This years Pavilion selection was made by Serpentine Artistic Director Hans Ulrich Obrist, CEO Bettina Korek, Director of Construction and Special Projects Julie Burnell, Director of Curatorial Affairs and Public Practice Yesomi Umolu, and Curator at Large Natalia Grabowska together with advisors Sir David Adjaye OM OBE and David Glover. In 2022, Sir Adjaye was appointed to the Order of Merit, selected by Her Majesty the Queen, in recognition of distinguished service in the armed forces, science, art, literature, or for the promotion of culture.
Lina Ghotmehs (b.1980, Beirut, LB, Lebanon) projects include the Estonian National Museum (Grand Prix Afex 2016 & Mies Van Der Rohe Nominee); Stone Garden, crafted tower and gallery spaces in Beirut (Dezeen 2021 Architecture of the year Award), Lebanon; Réalimenter Masséna wooden tower dedicated to sustainable food culture in Paris (laureate of Paris call for innovative projects), France; Ateliers Hermès in Normandy, first passive low carbon workshops building, in France; Wonderlab exhibition in Tokyo and Beijing & Les Grands Verres for the Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France.
Ghotmeh is actively involved in the academic world and has lectured in institutions across the world. She is Louis I Khan 2021 visiting professor at Yale School of Architecture in United States and Gehry Chair 202122 at the University of Toronto, Canada. She co-presides the Scientific Network for architecture in extreme climates and is was a member of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture 2022 Jury. Among Prizes, she was awarded in 2021 the 2020 Schelling Architecture Prize, has received the 2020 Tamayouz Woman of Outstanding Achievement, the French Fine Arts Academy Cardin Award 2019, the Architecture Academy Dejean Prize 2016 and the French Ministry of Culture Award in 2008.
Her work is currently exhibited at the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Museum in New York and was previously shown at the MAXXI in Rome (202122) and the 17th Architecture Biennale in Venice (2021). Her projects have been published by Phaidon, RIBA, Domus and Architectural Record.