London’s Serpentine Enters Beijing With New Pavilion
By Brady Ng
In May, Beijing’s Wongfujing neighborhood will see the launch of a pavilion built by London’s Serpentine Gallery.
The temporary pavilion, which will remain on site until October, will provide a space for cultural events and social activities in the garden of WF Central, a real estate development owned by the holding company Jardine Matheson Group’s subsidiary Hongkong Land. The project is Serpentine’s first pavilion to be built outside of the United Kingdom.
Jiakun Architects has provided a design for the pavilion that is influenced by Confucianism, specifically taking inspiration from the junzi figure that is invoked in the I-Ching and by Confucius to describe the ideal person. A curved cantilever beam and cables stretched between steel plates will “incorporate the forces of elasticity” to overcome fierce winds and earthquakes, should there be any, according to Liu Jiakun, founder of Jiakun Architects.
Aside from two galleries in London, Serpentine also operates a pavilion in the English capital that is the site of an annual showcase for architectural commissions. Previous presentations at this pavilion have included temporary structures by Asif Khan in 2016, Sou Fujimoto in 2013, the design team behind the Beijing National Stadium—formed by Ai Weiwei and Herzog & de Meuron—in 2012, and Zaha Hadid for the first commission in 2000. Serpentine’s project in Beijing will be modeled after its pavilion programming in London.
Brady Ng is the reviews editor of ArtAsiaPacific.
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