Serpentine Pavilion 2023
Visually echoing the canopies of the surrounding trees, this lightweight modular pavilion provides an enticing invitation for human interactions.
Entitled ‘À table’ – the French call to sit down together at the table – French-Lebanese architect Lina Ghotmeh’s pavilion incorporates multiple inspirations, including echoing the toguna huts of the Dogon people in Mali. It is circular in plan and built almost solely in wood as an ode to this bio-sourced material.
It displays each part of its timber structure, in which pairs of slender glulam columns support a series of radial modules that form the elegant roof canopy and perimeter wall.
The delicate pleated canopy consists of a plywood deck supported by slender plywood ribs, reflecting the structure of leaves. At the centre of the canopy, a pretensioned fabric structure allows light and ventilation to penetrate the space. Intricate CNC-cut plywood fretwork forms the walls of the pavilion, bracing the glulam frames and creating a beautiful and extremely lightweight superstructure with minimal foundations. The prefabricated modular build comprises nine repeating segments and has been designed to be disassembled and rebuilt in a future location.
ArchitectLina Ghotmeh – Architecture
Wood SupplierConstructional Timber
ContractorStage One Creative Services Ltd
SpeciesBirch Plywood (UK); Glulam (Austria); PSE timber (Sweden) – PEFC and FSC certified
JoineryStage One Creative Services Ltd
PhotographerLina Ghotmeh, Iwan Baan, Serpentine and Harry Richards