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South African Firm Counterspace’s Much-Anticipated Serpentine Pavilion Finally Opens

Despite pandemic-induced delays, London’s Serpentine Pavilion has finally opened, and it’s a first on several fronts.  For starters, the project’s lead architect, Sumayya Vally of South African architecture firm, Counterspace, is the youngest architect ever to win the commission. The work also represents the first time that the pavilion has been constructed in multiple locations in an effort to engage participation and incorporate a multitude of inputs. The main pavilion structure is built of reclaimed steel, cork and timber covered with micro-cement. The varying textures and hues of pink and brown are drawn directly from the architecture of London and reference changes in the quality of light. The forms are a result of abstracting, superimposing and splicing elements from architectures that vary in scales of intimacy. In this way Vally has translated the shapes of London into the Pavilion structure.