Architecture – Titled À table, a French call to sit down together at a table to engage and participate in dialogue while sharing a meal, the Serpentine Pavilion 2023 by Beirut-born and Paris-based architect Lina Ghotmeh consists of a 300 sqm structure with a nine-sided shape topped by a pleated umbrella-like roof resembling a palm leaf. The Pavilion will be open to all until October 29 and is sponsored by Goldman Sachs.
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Considering food as an expression of care, À Table is “a gathering space inviting visitors to share ideas, concerns, joys, dissatisfactions, responsibilities, traditions, cultural memories, and histories that bring us together.” Ghotmeth told Archipanic.
À Table is built predominantly with bio-sourced and low-carbon materials and responds to the shape of the surrounding tree canopy. Internal wooden beams create a spider-like structure encircling the pavilion’s perimeter and emerging as thin tree trunks. Fretwork panels between the beams feature plant-like cut-out patterns, allowing natural light and ventilation.
The modest low roof takes inspiration from Togunas buildings in Mali and West Africa, traditionally used for community gatherings to discuss current issues but also provide shade and relief from the heat.
Placing Nature, the organic and sustainability at its core, Ghotmeh’s lightweight, fully demountable timber structure minimises its carbon footprint and environmental impact.
Lina Ghotmeh also teamed up with The Conran Shop to design exclusive pieces of furniture, including 25 tables and 57 stools crafted from oak with a dark-red finish.
Honouring the history of the Serpentine Pavilion as a former tea house, Ghotmeh contributed to creating a new menu based on organic ingredients. Artist and composer Tarek Atoui created a new soundscape based on Ghotmeh’s sketches, architectural materials, and Atoui’s ongoing research on classical and rural Arab music.
All photos of the Serpentine Pavilion 2023 are by Iwan Baan, @Lina Ghotmeh – Courtesy of the Serpentine Galleries.