First foreign Serpentine Pavilion will be built in China this year
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First foreign Serpentine Pavilion will be built in China this year

The Serpentine Pavilion programme is launching in Beijing, with an inaugural commission by Chinese studio Jiakun Architects to open in May this year.

The arched pavilion will be erected outside WF Central, a luxury shopping and hotel complex in the Dongcheng district of the Chinese capital, from May to October 2018.

The design comprises an arc of curving ribs, tethered to a base plate by cables. The concept is intended as a "physical representation of the traditional pursuit of Junzi" – a Chinese philosophical term meaning morally exemplar or humane.

This will be the first Serpentine Pavilion to be built outside the UK and, like the annual editions in London's Kensington Gardens, it will be used to host a programme of public events.

The winning design by Sichuan practice Jiakun Architects was selected by a committee of eight, including the Serpentine Galleries' artistic director Hans-Ulrich Obrist, CEO Yana Peel and architect David Adjaye.

The Serpentine Pavilion programme was initiated in 2000 by former Serpentine Galleries director Julia Peyton-Jones, and has since given architects including Peter ZumthorFrank GehrySANAA and Sou Fujimoto the chance to build in the UK for the first time.

In a video series shot by Dezeen, Peyton-Jones revealed the stories behind all the pavilions created for the programme between 2000 and 2015.

Last year's pavilion was created by Burkinabe architect Diébédo Francis Kéré, and featured curved blue walls and a tree-inspired structure.