Dezeen Magazine

2024 Serpentine Pavilion by Minsuk Cho

Minsuk Cho reveals star-shaped 2024 Serpentine Pavilion

Mass Studies founder Minsuk Cho has been announced as the designer of this year's Serpentine Pavilion and the first visuals of his design revealed.

Named Archipelagic Void, the pavilion is set to open in London's Kensington Gardens in June 2024 and will be Seoul-based Korean architect Cho's first building in the UK.

The 23rd pavilion will consist of five structures, described as "islands", arranged in a star shape around a central, circular void. It was informed by small courtyards named madangs that are found at the centre of historic Korean houses.

2024 Serpentine Pavilion by Minsuk Cho
Minsuk Cho will design this year's Serpentine Pavilion

According to Cho, who leads Korean studio Mass Studies, the building's design was informed by the site's history and an investigation of the previous 22 pavilions that have been built on the site.

"We began by asking what can be uncovered and added to the Serpentine site, which has already explored over 20 iterations at the centre of the lawn, from a roster of great architects and artists," said Cho.

"To approach this new chapter differently, instead of viewing it as a carte blanche, we embraced the challenge of considering the many existing peripheral elements while exploring the centre as a void."

"It also begins to address the history of the Serpentine Pavilion," he added. "By inverting the centre as a void, we shift our architectural focus away from the built centre of the past, facilitating new possibilities and narratives."

Minsuk Cho
The pavilion will be Cho's first building in the UK. Photo by Mok Jungwook

Each of the five structures arranged around the void will be designed to have a separate function. The structure directly facing the Serpentine Gallery building will be designed as an entrance.

Alongside it, the Auditorium will act as a gathering area, there will be a small Library and Tea House, while the largest structure called The Play Tower will have netted walls.

Cho is best known internationally as the co-curator of the Golden Lion-winning Korean pavilion at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale.

Other projects designed by Mass Studies include the Republic of Korea Pavilion at Shanghai Expo 2010 and the Songwon Art Centre.

Cho's pavilion follows Lebanese architect Lina Ghotmeh's circular timber pavilion last year and artist Theaster Gates' Black Chapel in 2022.

The prestigious commission has been running since 2000 when the late Zaha Hadid designed the first pavilion. Since then, the pavilions have been built by architects including Frida EscobedoBjarke Ingels and Sou Fujimoto.

The renders are by Mass Studies.