The Serpentine Galleries has announced the expansion of their popular summer pavilion program, collaborating with Beijing’s WF Central to commission the inaugural Serpentine Pavilion Beijing. The first Serpentine Pavilion to be built outside of the Galleries’ Kensington Gardens home in London, the Beijing Pavilion will be located just 600 meters away from the historic Forbidden City in the Dongcheng District, where it will host a program of cultural activities and events. The inaugural pavilion has been designed by emerging Chinese studio JIAKUN Architects, led by architect Liu Jiakun. Drawing both from the historical and social of Beijing and from the storied 17-year history of the Serpentine Pavilion commission, the design features an arched form that balances forces of tensions and compression.
Serpentine Pavilion Beijing takes inspiration from Confucianism with an architecture that is a physical representation of the traditional pursuit of Junzi. The design is characterized by a figure of the Archer, in the form of a curved cantilever beam that incorporates the forces of elasticity through cables stretched between steel plates. Although, modern architecture in Beijing has developed a series of powerful techniques to fight the external forces of fierce winds and unpredictable earthquakes, the Pavilion’s integral structures aims – like the Tai Chi Master – to conquer the harness of those forces with softness. The inaugural Serpentine Pavilion Beijing will launch in May 2018 and will remain on display at WF Central for six months.