The annual Serpentine Gallery Pavilion Exhibition is one of the most awaited architectural events in London for the global architectural community. For the year 2023, Serpentine has reported the official inception of  ‘A Table’ – the 22nd Pavilion, designed by French-Lebanese architect Lina Ghotmeh. The pavilion is going to welcome visitors at Serpentine South from 9th June 2023 till 29th October 2023, free of charge. Inspired by architect Lina Ghotmeh’s Mediterranean heritage and profound discussions around the table, the Pavilion is entitled À table- a French invitation to sit down together at a table and engage in an open discussion while sharing a meal.

The 22nd Serpentine Pavilion designed by Lina Ghotmeh - Sheet1
22nd Serpentine Pavilion_© Lina Ghotmeh — Architecture. Photo: Iwan Baan

About Lina Ghotmeh

The 22nd Serpentine Pavilion designed by Lina Ghotmeh - Sheet2
Lina Ghomteh at the 22nd Serpentine Pavilion_© Harry Richard

Lina Ghotmeh is a prominent architect known for her innovative and sustainable designs.Her projects include the architecture project of the year at the Dezeen Awards title-winning Stone Garden; Grand Prix Afex(2016) and Mies Van Der Rohe Nominee Estonian National Museum; and a sustainable food culture developing wooden tower- Réalimenter Masséna. She was a member of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture 2022 Jury and is the co-president of the Scientific Network for Architecture in extreme climates.Among many other notable awards, she was also awarded the 2020 Tamayouz Woman of Outstanding Achievement; the French Fine Arts Academy Cardin Award 2019, and the French Ministry of Culture Award in 2008.

Design of À table

The 22nd Serpentine Pavilion designed by Lina Ghotmeh - Sheet3
View inside the Pavilion_ © Iwan Baan

The sole purpose on which the pavilion is conceptualized – the interior space of the pavilion is characterized by a large table that encircles the perimeter, considering food as an expression of care and offering affability. Visitors will be able to sit around the table and contribute their ideas, joys, concerns, dissatisfactions, cultural memories, and histories that bring them together, at the 22nd Serpentine Pavilion. The 300 sqm pavilion stimulates reflection on the architectural strategies that can provoke moments of collective conversations. Architect Lina Ghotmeh hopes that through food, art, music, and literature, the table as a laboratory would host different voices in the coming weeks, welcome multiple conversations, allow for playful interactions, and curate lasting memories.

Archaeology of the Future

The 22nd Serpentine Pavilion designed by Lina Ghotmeh - Sheet4
Top view of the Pavilion__ ©

Lina Ghotmeh explains her point of view on architecture as an ‘Archaeology of the Future’. The spaces in the Serpentine pavilion are designed such that they are in dialogue with the history and natural environment that surrounds them, true to the term she defines. The pavilion features wooden beams that encircle the perimeter creating a shape implicative of the surrounding tree canopies. The pleated roof is inspired by the palm leaf structure. It is a quest of architecture where each new gesture is drawn from the traces of the past.

The 22nd Serpentine Pavilion designed by Lina Ghotmeh - Sheet5
Interplay of Light within the Pavilion_©Iwan Baan

Research of community meeting places like the Toguna huts of the Dogon people in Mali was conducted to interpret this typology in depth. Togunas are structures in Mali, West Africa customarily used for community gatherings, discussing current affairs, and offering relief from the sun. Inspired by these, Lina Ghotmeh designed a humble low roof punctuated in the middle to bring in light and mark the centrality of the space. The 3.4m oculus is covered by EFTE pretensioned fabric to protect it from the rain. A colonnade surrounds the pavilion with translucent glass walls semi-enclosing the central space. The fretwork screens that surround the pavilion have plant-inspired patterned apertures that allow natural light and ventilation.  The wooden trusses wrap the interior and hold the folded roof, giving the room a form reflective of the foliage on the outside. The triangular cut-outs along the top and bottom of the structure reflect the pleated shape of the roof. The design echoes the structure of tree leaves. The 25 tables and 57 stools contributed by Conran Shop put up a ceremonial display and complement the pavilion structure.The pavilion has a suspended wooden floor supported on a precast concrete pad foundation.The overall experience of the space curated by the use of natural light, furniture placement, and choice of materials encourages people to sit peacefully and exchange thoughts.

The 22nd Serpentine Pavilion designed by Lina Ghotmeh - Sheet6
Immersive Environment within the Pavilion_ ©Ste Murray


The 22nd Serpentine Pavilion designed by Lina Ghotmeh - Sheet7
Use of Bio sourced and low carbon materials_©Iwan Baan

The entire structure is lightweight and the connections are designed for easy disassembly to ensure a minimal carbon footprint. Low-carbon recycled glass is used for the translucent screens and laminated veneer lumber is used for a more slender and sustainable structure. Oakwood chairs and a table with a dark red finish dress the interior. The use of Bio-sourced and low-carbon materials puts ecology at the center stage. “Rethinking what and how much we eat – how we ‘consume’ and how we weave our relationships to one another and the living world – moves us towards a more sustainable, eco-systemic communion with the Earth.”, the architect explains. Based on the sketches of Lina Ghomteh, and artist and musician Tarek Atoui’s research of classical and rural Arab music, a soundtrack was crafted that enhances the atmosphere of the pavilion. Furthermore, the ‘Park Nights,’ a collaborative live venue showcasing the arts, music, literature, and dance, on various Friday nights will be hosted at the pavilion.

The 12th pavilion designed by Chinese Artist Ai Weiwei and Swiss Architectural practice Herzog and de Meuron in 2012 and the 6th pavilion designed by Rem Koolhaas and Cecil Balmond with Arup in 2006  explored similar themes. In the first case, the structure sank space into the ground with a random array of cork furniture that facilitated open,and concentric seating drawing people in to interact and engage in conversations. In the second case, an ovoid-shaped, illuminated, inflatable canopy floated above a designed circular space that acted as a catalyst for activating the space and bringing people together. The year 2023 has presented a pavilion design once more that reinforces that architecture exists as an intimate and continuous relationship to human connection.

A table within the surrounding in the evening__© Iwan Baan


 Citations for Magazine,Journal,Newspaper Articles – Print or Online:


Florian Maria(2023)The 22nd Serpentine Pavilion, Designed by Lina Ghotmeh, Opens to the Public on June 9th, 2023[Online]Available at :

Arch20(2023)On June 9th, 2023, Lina Ghotmeh’s 22nd Serpentine Pavilion Will Debut to the Public,Available at:

DesignBoom(2023)An exclusive look inside lina ghotmeh’s serpentine pavilion through the lens of Ste Murray,Available at:

Peacock Any(2023)Lina Ghotmeh unveils Serpentine Pavilion as “an invitation to dwell together”, Available at:

Citations for images/photographs – Print or Online:

1_Iwan Baan (2023)_22nd Serpentine Pavilion[Photograph](Serpentine

2_Harry Richard(2023)_Lina Ghomteh at the 22nd Serpentine Pavilion[Photograph]Apollo Magazine)

3_ Iwan Baan(2023)_View inside the Pavilion[Photograph](Serpentine

4_Serpentinegalleries.org_Top view of the Pavilion[Architectural Render](Serpentine

5_Iwan Baan(2023)_Interplay of Light within the Pavilion[Photograph](Serpentine

6_Ste Murray(2023)_Immersive Environment within the Pavilion[Photograph]

7_Iwan Baan(2023)_Use of Bio sourced and low carbon materials[Photograph](Serpentine

8_Iwan Baan(2023)_A table within the surrounding in the evening[Photograph](Serpentine


Ishwari is a budding Architect who loves to explore spaces , cultures, and people. With the countless stories they express, she wishes to unfold them through her writings.