For the first time in the history of the Serpentine Pavilion commission, four Fragments of the Serpentine Pavilion 2021 designed by Counterspace are placed in partner organisations whose work has inspired its design.
They are located in New Beacon Books in Finsbury Park, one of the first Black publishers and booksellers in the UK; a multi-purpose venue and community hub The Tabernacle in Notting Hill; arts centre the Albany in Deptford, and the new Becontree Forever Arts and Culture Hub at Valence Library in Barking and Dagenham, which was established this year to commemorate the centenary of the UK’s largest council housing estate. The Fragments support the everyday operations of these organisations while enabling and honouring gatherings of local communities that they have supported for years. A gesture of decentralising architecture to include a multitude of voices, the Fragments extend out into the city the principals on which the Pavilion was designed.
The Fragment at New Beacon Books offers an additional space to display books and a seat for customers to browse through them. Additionally, it can also be used as a stage for a reading, lecture or spoken-word performance. At the Albany, the Fragment extends the seating area in the garden for quiet reflection and can also function as a stage for intimate performances. The Fragment at the Tabernacle offers an additional seating area for people to enjoy and share a meal from the Tabernacle restaurant. Additionally, it can be used as a stage for small performances. At Valence Library the Fragment has been designed to be used flexibly, as one structure or divided into smaller sections to respond to the needs of recordings made for the new radio station Becontree Broadcasting. It can also become part of the daily operations of the Valence Library.
An additional Fragment is temporarily on view in Regent’s Park from 14 September to 31 October 2021 as part of Frieze Sculpture. The Fragment’s design responds to the surrounding park and facilitates different types of gatherings.
Located on the grounds of Serpentine in Kensington Gardens, the Pavilion’s design is based on past and present places of meeting, organising and belonging across several London neighbourhoods significant to diasporic and cross-cultural communities. The forms in the Pavilion are a result of abstracting, superimposing and splicing elements from architectures that vary in scales of intimacy, translating the shapes of London into the Pavilion structure.