Sunday, 01 Oct 2023

Lina Ghotmehs Serpentine Pavilion is an invitation to reconnect with nature

Named Table, the 300-square-metre pavilion is a circular timber structure with a pleated birch plywood roof.


Lina Ghotmehs Serpentine Pavilion is an invitation to reconnect with nature

The 2023 Serpentine Pavilion by French-Lebanese architect Lina Ghotmeh will open to the public on Friday 9 June in London's Kensington Gardens.

Named À Table, the 300-square-metre pavilion is a circular timber structure with a birch plywood roof, inspired by the form of a palm leaf. Pleated wooden plates radiate out from a central lightwell with scalloped edges, allowing natural light and ventilation into the pavilion.

According to Ghotmeh, the title À Table is a French call to sit down together at a table to engage and participate in dialogue while sharing a meal. She further explained that the design is inspired by the nearby tree canopies and aims to create a gathering space to generate conversation.

"À Table is an invitation to dwell together in the same space and around the same table," said Ghotmeh.

"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 to Earth."

A series of glued laminated timber columns draws the perimeter of the pavilion, supporting the cantilevered wooden beams that connect to the centre of the structure. Between the beams are wooden screens with plant-like cut out patterns.

The low roof, which measures 4.4 metres high at the centre and drops to 3.1 metres high at the eaves, references the "toguna," a structure found in Mali, West Africa, which is traditionally used for community gatherings to discuss current issues.

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