The latest pavilion in the long-running series references the architect’s own heritage, as well as the architecture of West Africa
This year’s Serpentine Pavilion, designed by renowned Lebanese architect Lina Ghotmeh, has completed and is set to open to the public on Friday 9th June.
The pavilion’s title, À table, is intended as an allusion to the French call to sit down for a meal, with its connotations of human interaction. Gotmeh said: “À table in an invitation to dwell together, in the same space and around the same table. It is an encouragement to enter into a dialogue, to convene and to think about we could reinstate and re-establish our relationship to nature and the Earth.”
As well as referencing Gotmeh’s own heritage in the eastern Mediterranean, the fully demountable timber structure’s low-slung form is also intended to be reminiscent of the toguna huts of the Dogon people in Mali, West Africa. A large communal table at the centre of the pavilion, made by The Conran Shop, is intended to facilitate a wide variety of social interactions.
Ghotmeh’s previous works, characterized by a fusion of modernism and cultural contextualism, have earned her international acclaim.
Born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon, Ghotmeh grew up surrounded by a rich cultural heritage that profoundly influenced her design philosophy. Initially interested in becoming an archaeologist, she graduated in architecture from the American University of Beirut, before pursuing further studies at the École Spéciale d’Architecture in Paris.
In 2005, while working in London and collaborating with Ateliers Jean Nouvel and Foster & Partners, she won the international competition for the design of the Estonian National Museum. On the back of this win, she co-founded Dorell Ghotmeh Tane Architects and went on to oversee completion of the project in 2016.
She later formed a new practice, Lina Ghotmeh Architects, based in Paris. Other notable projects include Stone Garden in Beirut, a multi-storey apartment building constructed from concrete.
This is the 22nd iteration of the Serpentine Pavilion and will be open to the public from Friday 9th June.