Serpentine Pavilion – UK


Architect: Junya Ishigami
Lighting design: AECOM
Photography: Faruk Pinjo and Iwan Baan 

Japanese architect Junya Ishigami has created 2019’s Serpentine Pavilion structure.

Over 60 tonnes of Cumbrian slate make up this extraordinary construction which takes its inspiration from roofs.


Below the canopy, a cavernous enclosed space encourages contemplation. Ishigami describes the design which grows out of the surrounding lawn as, ‘resembling a hill made out of rocks’.

Prior to the opening, Junya, speaking with the Serpentine Galleries’ artistic Director, Hans Ulrich Obrist, said that different scenes would be created. On rainy days, the slate darkens, producing a different effect than on sunny days, when the roof reflects the sky.

AECOM have collaborated with David Glover to provide multidiscipline engineering and specialist lighting design services for the Serpentine Pavilion since 2013.

This year’s lighting scheme has incorporated 58 of acdc’s surface mounted PLAZA 10 and PLAZA 20 luminaires.


Isabel Zumtobel, Atelier of Light, commented, ‘Visiting Junya Ishigami in Tokyo really inspired me as he has so much creativity and I am proud we managed to join forces with the Serpentine Pavilion and support Junya’s vision. Collaborating with architects and bringing their ideas to life always challenges our skills but we embrace these ideas in the knowledge that the experience develops us as a company. We are delighted to be a part of Junya Ishigami’s first project in the UK.’

Junya Ishigami is delighted to be working with Zumtobel, saying that ‘Working with Zumtobel is a pleasure because of their approach. Always trying to push the limit on what lighting can do yet with a distinct subtlety. For the Pavilion, their lights accentuate the different nuances of colours that each stone has to offer.’

acdc and Zumtobel are keen to support the use of good design to provide better spaces in which to work and live while celebrating the achievements of a wide diversity of architectural talent.

Dan Hodgson, Applications Director at acdc commented, ‘The Serpentine summer pavilion is such an iconic event in the architectural calendar and it is great that once again acdc are providing the luminaires for this event giving the structure real presence in the hours of darkness. We have welcomed the opportunity of being an integral part of the team alongside Aecom and Junya Ishigami+Associates in providing this compelling installation.’


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