This year’s Serpentine Pavilion is the first one designed by an artist, not an architect. Chicago-based artist Theaster Gates was supported by Adjaye Associates architecture practice during the construction. The Pavilion is called Black Chapel, and it is said to be one of the most simple and sustainable pavilion structures so far. 10-meter-tall pavilion is made mostly of blackened timber.
According to the artist the space is a gathering space for people. Therefore, the people make the space, and architecture is less important. Some critics have claimed it to be too simple (and boring).
The circular shape of the structure is inviting people to come together and the dark interiors make the space feel more intimate.
There is a small area dedicated for a cafe within the circular interior space.
All in all the space is somber without people. The artist has created a chapel – a space for quiet contemplation. Honoring the memory of his roofer father, Gates produced a series of new tar paintings titled Seven Songs for Black Chapel.
“I want visitors to leave feeling they could create the same kind of architectural or sacred space in their own homes,”