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Today, London’s Serpentine Galleries announced the Paris-based, Beirut-born architect Lina Ghotmeh as the designer of the 2023 pavilion. Ghotmeh, who founded her multidisciplinary practice Lina Ghotmeh — Architecture in 2016, works on site-specific, socially-informed projects at the intersection of art and architecture. A professor and winner of numerous awards, Ghotmeh builds on the theme of what she calls “archeology of the future,” or excavating and learning from the past. Her projects include the ongoing Ateliers Hermès, which will be the brand’s low-carbon, passive bul in Normandy, France; the Estonian National Museum (2016); and Stone Garden (2020), a 13-story mixed-use, art and residential tower in Beirut, with its thick, load-bearing walls, cut with deep apertures for windows and terraces. Though the tower was damaged, its structure withstood the explosion in Beirut’s port explosion in 2020, and it was featured on RECORD’s cover that October

Ghotmeh’s design for the 22nd Serpentine pavilion, À table, inspired by the French tradition of communing over a meal, will invite engagement and interaction with its site in Kensington Gardens. In a statement, the architect called the design “an encouragement to enter into a dialogue, to convene and to think about how we could reinstate and re-establish our relationship to nature and the Earth.” The recyclable, skeletal timber structure, topped by a pleated roof, is a take on the form of a table (specifically the low structures of Mali’s Toguna huts, erected by the Dogon people) as well as the garden’s natural tree canopies.

Serpentine Rendering.

Rendering of interior of Serpentine Pavilion 2023 designed by Lina Ghotmeh — Architecture. Image by Lina Ghotmeh — Architecture, courtesy the Serpentine

“We are thrilled to present Lina Ghotmeh’s first structure in the UK here at the Serpentine,” said Serpentine CEO Bettina Korek and artistic director Hans Ulrich Obrist in a statement. Her design, they added, “expands on our mission of creating connections between architecture and society by promoting unity and togetherness in its form and function.”

Ghotmeh joins previous Serpentine designers—including Frida Escobedo, designer of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s forthcoming wing in New York, in 2018, and Theaster Gates, designer of last summer’s circular wood structure, Black Chapel.

À table will be unveiled in June of the coming year, accompanied by the Serpentine’s educational programs and Park Nights performances.