As sure as the sun will rise and winter will turn into spring, Hyde Park will play host to a new Serpentine Pavilion every year, and 2023’s has just hatched into the world. This one was designed by French-Lebanese architect Lina Ghotmeh and is inspired by the Mediterranean urge to sit around a dining table and put the world to rights.
The name of the pavilion is ‘À table’, French for ‘sit the f**k down at the dinner table or you’re going to get a whack around the ear’. The idea is that it’s meant to make visitors think about the table as a place of discussion, engagement, dialogue and exchange, all while sharing a meal.
It’s a big, broad, light, open structure that’s intended to look at ‘food as an expression of care’ and be a ‘space for grounding and reflection on our relationship to land, nature and environment’. It also has a Benugos.
It hasn’t been all that popular with architecture critics. The Times called it ‘pretty but flimsy’, The Guardian said it was a ‘giant cocktail umbrella’ with a clumsy ‘flatpack feel’ and ArtReview called it ‘relentless inoffensive’.
Sounds like everyone needs to get around a table and really hash this out.
The Serpentine Pavilion 2023 is open now. More details here.
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