(UK) – On the 1st of September 2022, more than 160 architects and lighting designers attended a private event from Zumtobel Group at the 21st Serpentine Pavilion. Open annually from June to October, the Serpentine Pavilion commission has become an international site for architectural experimentation and presents projects by some of the world’s greatest architects.
The evening opened with a welcome from key representatives from the Group, including Marc-Andre Rusch, VP Region West & South Europe; Isabel Zumtobel, Head of Arts & Culture; and Tom Lobak, Regional Sales Director for London Specification.
Natalia Grabowska, Serpentine Curator, walked guests through this year’s design – Black Chapel by Chicago-based artist Theaster Gates. The structure, realised with the support of Adjaye Associates, references the bottle kilns of Stoke-on-Trent, the beehive kilns of the Western United States, San Pietro and the Roman tempiettos, and traditional African structures, such as the Musgum mud huts of Cameroon, and the Kasubi Tombs of Kampala, Uganda. The Pavilion’s circularity and volume echo the sacred forms of Hungarian round churches, and the ring shouts, voodoo circles and roda de capoeira witnessed in the sacred practices of the African diaspora.
After, the formal element of the evening concluded with Katja Leszczynska, Associate Director of Aecom, regaling the audience with the story behind Aecom’s lighting design for Black Chapel.
The site for contemplation and convening was bought to life with luminaires from the Group, including Vivo II (Zumtobel) spotlights for the main pavilion space and Contrast (Thorn) architectural floodlights for the exterior pathway, all connected and controlled by Zumtobel’s Litecom Lighting Controls system.
Following the informative talks, clients were given the opportunity to eat, drink and network to the tinkling of a jazz trio.
The Pavilion begins its life in Kensington Gardens. However, it will be re-sited to a permanent location in the future. In line with the Zumtobel Group’s commitment to sustainability, it is designed to minimise its carbon footprint and environmental impact, adhering to the Serpentine’s sustainability policy. The predominantly timber structure is lightweight and fully demountable, focusing on sustainably-sourced materials.