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Junya Ishigami’s slate Serpentine Pavilion opens

61 tonnes of slate define the 2019 Serpentine Pavilion in London. Junya Ishigami describes it as “a hill made out of rocks”.

The Serpentine Galleries have opened Junya Ishigami’s Serpentine Pavilion 2019 – a canopy of Cumbrian slate that appears to emerge from the lawn in Kensington Gardens.


Photography © Norbert Tukaj

The slate tiles have been arranged to create a water-resisting surface with a varying texture. They sit atop an orthogonal mesh of steel, which spans between a ‘forest’ of 106 pin-ended columns arranged on a random grid.


Photography © Norbert Tukaj

At its maximum height, the canopy sits 4.6 metres above ground level. Ishigami imagined the space beneath the canopy as a cave-like refuge space for contemplation.


Photography © Iwan Baan

Says Ishigami, “My design for the Pavilion plays with our perspectives of the built environment against the backdrop of a natural landscape, emphasising a natural and organic feel as though it had grown out of the lawn, resembling a hill made out of rocks.”


Photography © Norbert Tukaj

He adds: “A stone creates a landscape, and a landscape usually sits outside of a building. I wanted to create the landscape inside the building, as a theory of the landscape that the stone creates outside. In that sense, I tried to create this landscape that exists outside, inside the building itself.”


Photography © Iwan Baan


“I wanted to create the landscape inside the building, as a theory of the landscape that the stone creates outside.”

– Junya Ishigami



The Serpentine Pavilion 2019, designed by Junya Ishigami for Serpentine Gallery, London, will close on 6 October 2019. 

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