Design render: Serpentine Pavilion 2020 designed by Counterspace.
Design render: Serpentine Pavilion 2020 designed by Counterspace.
Image: Counterspace

All we’ve been talking about over at Wanted HQ this week is the announcement that Joburg-based architectural practice Counterspace will be designing this year’s Serpentine Pavilion in London.

This is a huge deal. Every year the pavilion is built on the lawn of the Serpentine Gallery in Kensington Gardens, and stands as a temporary structure for the summer months. It’s always designed by a different international, upcoming architect or architectural firm.

Counterspace is the 20th practice to take on the project. The inaugural commission was by the late starchitect Zaha Hadid and subsequent pavilions have been designed by the likes of Danish designer Bjarke Ingels and Francis Kéré of Burkina Faso. 

Design render: Serpentine Pavilion 2020 designed by Counterspace, interior view.
Design render: Serpentine Pavilion 2020 designed by Counterspace, interior view.
Image: Counterspace

We’re excited because this is a seriously important acknowledgement of our Joburg homies Sumayya Vally, Sarah de Villers, and Amina Kaskar — the all-women team who are the directors of Counterspace. Not only are they a trio of proper girl power but they’re also the youngest architects (they were all born in 1990) to ever take on the task.

Amina Kaskar, Sumayya Vally and Sarah de Villiers of Counterspace.
Amina Kaskar, Sumayya Vally and Sarah de Villiers of Counterspace.
Image: Justice Mukheli / Counterspace

In an excellent example of how design can foster engagement, the team will use both innovative and traditional building techniques to gather spaces and community places around the city, folding London in to the pavilion structure of Kensington Garden, and extending a public programme across London. 

We are going to make a trip to the Big Smoke to see their architectural baby, which will be open from 11 June to 11 October.

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