In June, Therme Art Program announced its support of the 2019 Serpentine Pavilion design by Japanese architect Junya Ishigami and the commission of his accompanying furniture range Lotus. Ishigami is known for his experimental structures that merge architecture and nature. The pavilion’s design takes inspiration from roofs and is made by layering slabs of slate to create a single canopy roof that seems to rise organically out of the ground. Within, the interior of the Pavilion is an enclosed cave-like space, a refuge for contemplation. For Ishigami, the Pavilion articulates his ‘free space’ philosophy in which he seeks harmony between man-made structures and those that already exist in nature.
Ishigami has said of the pavilion “[m]y design for the Pavilion plays with our perspectives of the built environment against the backdrop of a natural landscape, emphasising a natural and organic feel as though it had grown out of the lawn, resembling a hill made out of rocks...possessing the weighty presence of slate roofs seen around the world, and simultaneously appearing so light it could blow away in the breeze, the cluster of scattered rock levitates, like a billowing piece of fabric.’
The Therme Art Program’s support of the pavilion follows on the group’s acquisition of Frida Escobedo’s Serpentine Pavilion in 2019. Therme Art Program hosted dinners in London in celebration of the architect, including the first dinner of the year set within the pavilion. The evening paid tribute to Ishigami’s design and featured a curated plant-based menu of Therme Food by Michelin Star awarded chef Stephan Hentschel and Henrik Strempel.