Announced as the architect of the 22nd commission today, Ghotmeh‘s À table pavilion will be installed in London’s Kensington Gardens in June 2023.
“À table is an invitation to dwell together, in the same space and around the same table,” said Ghotmeh.
“It is an encouragement to enter into a dialogue, to convene and to think about how we could reinstate and re-establish our relationship to nature and the Earth.”
Constructed with a timber frame, the pavilion will be topped with a roof with multiple gables that radiate out from its centre, which was described as “echoing the structures of tree leaves”.
A colonnade will surround the pavilion with translucent walls semi-enclosing a central space that will contain a low circular table.
“In today’s changing times, this pavilion offers a celebratory space,” Ghotmeh said. “It is endowed with a table, around which we will sit together in a modest, low structure and in an atmosphere reminiscent of toguna huts of the Dogon people in Mali, West Africa, designed to bring all members of a community together in discussion,” she continued.
“Here we can eat, work, play, meet, talk, rethink, and decide.”
Ghotmeh hopes that the pavilion will focus visitors’ attention on sustenance and sustainable living.
“The Earth that embraces us is our first source of sustenance; without it, we living beings, could not survive,” she said.
“Rethinking what and how much we eat – how we ‘consume’ and how we weave our relationships to one another and the living world – moves us towards a more sustainable, eco-systemic communion with the Earth.”
The pavilion will be designed using a modular system and will be “disassembled and reassembled” after the summer installation.
Ghotmeh’s pavilion will follow last year’s Black Chapel, which was designed by artist and designer Theaster Gates. Previous Serpentine Pavilions have been built by architects such as Frida Escobedo, Bjarke Ingels and Sou Fujimoto.
Lebanese architect Ghotmeh leads Paris-based architecture studio Lina Ghotmeh – Architecture. Her Stone Garden apartment block in Beirut was named architecture project of the year at the Dezeen Awards 2021 and Ghotmeh also spoke to Dezeen about how working in the city has changed since the devastating explosion in 2020.
The portrait is by Gilbert Hage.
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