Serpentine Pavilion 2020 Postponed

John Hill
27. April 2020
Serpentine Pavilion 2020 designed by Counterspace, exterior view (Visualization © Counterspace)

The Serpentine Galleries has announced that the 2020 Serpentine Pavilion designed by Johannesburg's Counterspace will open in summer 2021, one year later than originally planned, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The decision, announced on Friday, is not surprising, but it's refreshing that the annual installation is being pushed back rather than canceled, as is the fate of other architectural events. This means that Counterspace, the firm of Amina Kaskar, Sumayya Vally and Sarah de Villiers that was selected earlier this year, will be able to carry out their design: a circular cork pavilion with ancillary parts that will be installed in other parts of London.

Sir David Adjaye, a trustee of Serpentine Galleries trustee advisor on the Serpentine Pavilion Advisor said in Friday's announcement, "The global COVID-19 crisis has changed the immediate context. Rather than rush to execute Counterspace's stellar design as soon as it is safe to do so, the Serpentine has chosen to accept the slowness reshaping society today and utilize it to develop a deeper relationship with the architects ... [and] to draw more meaningful connections between their Pavilion and the people, communities, and nature of London."

Amina Kaskar, Sumayya Vally and Sarah de Villiers of Counterspace (Photo: Justice Mukheli © Counterspace)

Counterspace's Sumayya Vally, lead architect on the pavilion, also said, "We've always relied on places of gathering to come together and we miss them when they're gone. COVID-19 has brought the Pavilion themes of community and gathering sharply into focus – allowing us the opportunity to extend and deepen our engagement process over two years."

The Serpentine Galleries, like other cultural institutions around the world, is closed temporarily yet indefinitely during the coronavirus pandemic. 

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