The Serpentine Gallery has announced that the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2009 will be designed by architects Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, of the leading Japanese practice SANAA. Sejima and Nishizawa’s Pavilion will be the architects’ first built structure in the UK and the ninth commission in the Gallery’s annual series of Pavilions, the world’s first and most ambitious architectural programme of its kind. The Pavilion will open in July on the Serpentine Gallery’s lawn, where it will remain until October.
Sejima and Nishizawa’s pioneering buildings have created an architecture that marries aesthetic simplicity with technical complexity, defining a new architectural language, which plays with light and perception. Sought after by high-profile clients the world over, from the Louvre Museum in Lens, France to the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York, USA, SANAA’s projects are open stages which make visible the connection between the built structure, the users and the natural environment.
The New Museum in New York designed by SANAA
Sejima, who in her early days studied at the Japan Women’s University and worked with architect Toyo Ito, designer of the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion in 2002, began collaborating with Nishizawa in 1995. Sejima and Nishizawa’s Pavilion will operate as a café and as a venue for the Gallery’s acclaimed programme of public talks and events, Park Nights, attracting up to 250,000 visitors every summer. Sejima and Nishizawa will work with the structural design and engineering firm SAPS, led by Mutsuro Sasaki, and with the Arup team, led by David Glover and Ed Clark with Cecil Balmond, to realise this project.
Julia Peyton-Jones, Director, and Hans Ulrich Obrist, Co-Director, Serpentine Gallery, said: “It is our dream come true to be working with world-leading architects Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa of SANAA. Their work will be a wonderful addition to the Pavilion series, the only commission of its kind worldwide that annually gives pre-eminent architects their debut in this country and brings the best of contemporary architecture to London for everyone to enjoy.”
There is no budget for the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion commission. It is paid for by sponsorship, sponsorship help-in-kind, and the sale of the finished structure, which does not cover more than 40% of its cost. The Serpentine Gallery collaborates with a range of companies and individuals whose support makes it possible to realise the Pavilion.
NetJets Europe is the title sponsor for the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2009. Mark Booth, Executive Chairman said: “We’re looking forward to seeing Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa’s plans for the Serpentine Pavilion 2009, and are delighted to help to bring their work to London and to the Serpentine Gallery. Design is an area that we’re passionate about at NetJets and we know it’s something our customers care deeply about too. Design plays an incredibly influential role in how we live, so we’re firmly focussed on how we can bring world-class design to our customers’ flight experience – whether that’s working with Lord Foster on our fleet’s livery and the NetJets 7X, or lending our support to the Serpentine Gallery.”
The Serpentine Gallery Pavilion commission was conceived by Serpentine Gallery Director, Julia Peyton-Jones, in 2000. It is an ongoing programme of temporary structures by internationally acclaimed architects and designers. It is unique worldwide and presents the work of an international architect or design team who, at the time of the Serpentine Gallery’s invitation, has not completed a building in England. The Pavilion architects to date are: Frank Gehry, 2008; Olafur Eliasson and Kjetil Thorsen, 2007; Rem Koolhaas and Cecil Balmond, with Arup, 2006; Álvaro Siza and Eduardo Souto de Moura with Cecil Balmond, Arup, 2005; MVRDV with Arup, 2004 (un-realised); Oscar Niemeyer, 2003; Toyo Ito with Arup, 2002; Daniel Libeskind with Arup, 2001; and Zaha Hadid, 2000. Each Pavilion is sited on the Gallery’s lawn for three months and the immediacy of the process – a maximum of six months from invitation to completion – provides a peerless model for commissioning architecture.
To view previous Serpentine Gallery Pavilions click here.