First Serpentine Pavilion outside UK Opens in Beijing with Design by JIAKUN Architects | BLOUIN ARTINFO
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First Serpentine Pavilion outside UK Opens in Beijing with Design by JIAKUN Architects

First Serpentine Pavilion outside UK Opens in Beijing with Design by JIAKUN Architects
Serpentine Pavilion Beijing 2018 designed by JIAKUN Architects, WF Central, Beijing, © WF Central
(Courtesy: WF Central)

The Serpentine Galleries and WF CENTRAL (Beijing) collaborated for a new architecture Pavilion, designed by JIAKUN Architects, at the WF CENTRAL development in Beijing, the first Serpentine Pavilion outside the UK on view through October 31.

The inaugural Serpentine Pavilion Beijing at WF CENTRAL on Wangfujing in Beijing’s Dongcheng District is modelled on the Serpentine’s annual Pavilion commission in London’s Royal Park of Kensington Gardens. Beijing’s Dongcheng District is located just 600m away from the historic Forbidden City and this bustling area has been home to cultural and commercial activities since the middle of the Ming Dynasty. The Serpentine Pavilion Beijing will be a public space for cultural activities, events and social encounters at the very heart of WF CENTRAL, with a programme of cultural activities programmed across five Pavilion Weekends over the summer.

The renowned Chinese JIAKUN Architects, led by architect Liu Jiakun, has designed this world-class temporary Pavilion taking into consideration both the historic and social context of Beijing and the 18-year history of the Serpentine Pavilion commission.

“With a focus on society, community and vernacular craftsmanship, engaging a local context, Liu Jiakun aims to address contemporary architectural issues with a sense of realism, an approach inspired by folk wisdom. His vision remains open to China's many traditions and his projects shed light on the reciprocal relation between Chinese public life and urban cultural space,” says the Serpentine Galleries.

Serpentine Pavilion Beijing by JIAKUN Architects is inspired from Confucianism with an architecture that is a physical representation of the traditional pursuit of Junzi. The design is characterised by the figure of the Archer, in the form of a curved cantilever beam that incorporates the forces of elasticity through cables stretched between steel plates. Although modern architecture in Beijing has developed a series of powerful techniques to fight the external forces of fierce winds and unpredictable earthquakes, the Pavilion’s integral structure aims – like the Tai Chi Master – to conquer the harshness of those forces with softness.

“The Serpentine Pavilion Beijing will be in place at WF CENTRAL until October 31, 2018 and represents a unique cultural association between the Serpentine Galleries and WF CENTRAL, founded on a shared passion for architecture and design. It also provides the architectural backdrop to the Serpentine Pavilion Beijing programme. At the core of this programme will be a wide range of art, cultural and lifestyle activities programmed within and around the structure,” adds the gallery.

There are a lot of activities which are included in five monthly Pavilion Weekends featuring two themed thought-leadership talks, ‘Inspiration Talks’ and ‘The Future of’ series, and a wide range of community activities, including well-being workshops, lawn parties, children’s disco classes, performances and curated outdoor art-cinema evenings.

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