first look: designboom steps inside mass studies' 2024 serpentine pavilion

first look: designboom steps inside mass studies' 2024 serpentine pavilion

MASS STUDIES’ SERPENTINE PAVILION OPENS TO THE PUBLIC

 

The 2024 Serpentine Pavilion, designed by the Seoul-based architectural firm Mass Studies, led by Minsuk Cho, is now complete and set to open on June 7th. This 23rd edition, named Archipelagic Void, features five distinct ‘islands’ varying in size, height, and form. Together, they form a star shape. These islands surround a central void, connecting the Serpentine South gallery with the park’s pedestrian pathways and integrating with the natural environment and seasonal changes. The pavilion will host a newly commissioned soundscape, a library, and a series of performances and talks. Ahead of the public opening, designboom visited the site and captured images to provide a first look. See more below. 

first look: designboom steps inside mass studies' 2024 serpentine pavilion
Serpentine Pavilion 2024 Archipelagic Void designed by Minsuk Cho, Mass Studies © Mass Studies Photo: Iwan Baan

 

 

 

Archipelagic Void: A Pavilion Adapting to Nature

 

Built primarily from timber, the Archipelagic Void by Mass Studies (find more here) is designed to adapt to the site’s gentle slope. The individual roofs’ curving edges are connected by a steel ring, forming a central oculus that lets in natural light. Radiating from this circular void, the pavilion’s islands serve as nodes in the lawn, connecting to the Serpentine Gallery (find more here). This layout also references traditional Korean houses with a madang, an open courtyard at the center, linking various living quarters and accommodating daily activities and seasonal rituals.

 

Each structure around the void serves a distinct purpose and is individually named. The Gallery features a six-channel sound installation, The Willow is <버들은> and Moonlight <월정명>, created by musician and composer Jang Young-Gyu. This work combines sounds from nature and human activities in Kensington Gardens with traditional Korean vocal music and instruments to depict the changing seasons.

 

The largest structure is the Auditorium, with benches built into its inner walls, providing space for public gatherings, performances, and talks. To the north, The Library of Unread Books by artist Heman Chong and archivist Renée Staal features a ‘living’ reference library of donated unread books, addressing issues of access, excess, and distribution politics. The southeast Play Tower is a pyramid structure with a bright orange netscape for visitors to climb and interact. In a nod to the Serpentine’s history, Cho incorporates the Tea House to the east, originally designed by James Grey West and functioning as a teahouse before reopening as an art gallery in 1970.

first look: designboom steps inside mass studies' 2024 serpentine pavilion
Archipelagic Void by Mass Studies | image © designboom

first look: designboom steps inside mass studies' 2024 serpentine pavilion
the structure features five distinct ‘islands’ varying in size, height, and form | image © designboom

first look: designboom steps inside mass studies' 2024 serpentine pavilion
the 23rd Serpentine Pavilion is built primarily from timber | image © designboom

first look: designboom steps inside mass studies' 2024 serpentine pavilion
Serpentine Pavilion 2024, Archipelagic Void, designed by Minsuk Cho, Mass Studies © Mass Studies Photo: Iwan Baan Courtesy: Serpentine

first look: designboom steps inside mass studies' 2024 serpentine pavilion
Serpentine Pavilion 2024, Archipelagic Void, designed by Minsuk Cho, Mass Studies © Mass Studies Photo: Iwan Baan Courtesy: Serpentine

first look: designboom steps inside mass studies' 2024 serpentine pavilion
Serpentine Pavilion 2024, Archipelagic Void, designed by Minsuk Cho, Mass Studies © Mass Studies Photo: Iwan Baan Courtesy: Serpentine

first look: designboom steps inside mass studies' 2024 serpentine pavilion
image © designboom

first look: designboom steps inside mass studies' 2024 serpentine pavilion
the islands surround a central void, which serves as a space for interaction | image © designboom

first look: designboom steps inside mass studies' 2024 serpentine pavilion
the design references traditional Korean houses | image © designboom

first look: designboom steps inside mass studies' 2024 serpentine pavilion
Minsuk Cho inside the pavilion | image © designboom

first look: designboom steps inside mass studies' 2024 serpentine pavilion
image © designboom

first look: designboom steps inside mass studies' 2024 serpentine pavilion
Minsuk Cho speaks at the unveiling of the 23rd Serpentine Pavilion | image © designboom

first-look-mass-studies-2024-serpentine-pavilion-london-designboom-full

Serpentine Pavilion 2024, Archipelagic Void, designed by Minsuk Cho, Mass Studies © Mass Studies Photo: Iwan Baan Courtesy: Serpentine

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