Serpentine Pavilion

Open annually from June to October, the Serpentine Pavilion commission has become an international site for architectural experimentation, and presented projects by some of the world’s greatest architects.

Serpentine Pavilion 2022: Black Chapel is designed by Chicago-based artist Theaster Gates. Black Chapel is realised with the architectural support of Adjaye Associates and will open to the public on Friday 10 June, with Goldman Sachs supporting the annual project for the eighth consecutive year.

About the Pavilion Commission

Since 2000, Serpentine has commissioned internationally renowned and emerging architects to create their first built structure in England. The aim of our Pavilion commission is to choose architects who consistently extend the boundaries of contemporary architectural practice and to introduce these practitioners to wider audiences. We invite the architects to design a Pavilion that is used as a meeting space and café by day and a forum for learning, debate and entertainment at night. The Serpentine Pavilion series was the first scheme of its kind worldwide at this level of ambition and presents commissions that push the boundaries of contemporary architectural practice.

Serpentine collaborates with architects in the same way it does with artists: to realise their vision for a project as they conceived it. The process of selecting the architect is also guided by similar criteria to those Serpentine uses for selecting artists for the exhibitions. It is led by the core curatorial thinking to create a dynamic programme that introduces contemporary architects to a wider audience. This is achieved through actual built structures rather than through an exhibition of models, drawings and images. The Pavilion commission continues to provide an unparalleled site for experiencing contemporary architecture.

The inaugural Pavilion was designed by Dame Zaha Hadid, who conceived the commissioning programme with former Serpentine Director Dame Julia Peyton- Jones in 2000. Previous Pavilions were designed by: Sumayya Vally, Counterspace (2021), Junya Ishigami (2019), Frida Escobedo (2018), Francis Kéré (2017), Bjarke Ingels Group – BIG (2016), selgascano (2015), Smiljan Radić (2014), Sou Fujimoto (2013), Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei (2012), Peter Zumthor (2011), Jean Nouvel (2010), Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, SANAA (2009), Frank Gehry (2008), Olafur Eliasson and Kjetil Thorsen (2007), Rem Koolhaas and Cecil Balmond, with Arup (2006), Álvaro Siza and Eduardo Souto de Moura with Cecil Balmond, Arup (2006), MVRDV with Arup (2004, unrealised), Oscar Niemeyer (2003), Toyo Ito and Cecil Balmond, with Arup (2002), Daniel Libeskind with Arup (2001).

Serpentine Pavilion 2022: Black Chapel by Theaster Gates

The Serpentine Pavilion 2022: Black Chapel draws inspiration from the architectural typologies of chapels and the great kilns of Stoke-on-Trent, England. 

Serpentine Pavilion 2022: Black Chapel by Theaster Gates

Fellowship programme

Support Structures for Support Structures is the Serpentine's fellowship programme supporting artists working at the intersection of art, spatial politics and community practice.

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Art & Ideas

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