The acquisition was announced at the Serpentine Galleries’ Frieze breakfast, on the occasion of the opening of Frieze London. The event featured remarks by Hans Ulrich Obrist, Serpentine Galleries’ Artistic Director, and Mikolaj Sekutowicz, Curator of Therme Art Program and Vice President of Therme Group, who commented: “It has become incredibly important to merge nature and human architecture to overcome the environmental challenges our civilisation is currently facing. As a company, we are actively searching for solutions to challenges in architectural design and city planning through art. Ishigami’s design for this year’s pavilion responds to these challenges, approaching solutions through the artistic and conceptual freedom provided by Serpentine Galleries.”
Ishigami’s design for the 2019 Serpentine Pavilion consists of a complex arrangement of slates, forming a single canopy that appears to emerge straight from the earth on which it stands. In keeping with Therme Group’s philosophy to reconnect nature and our built environment, Ishigami’s design highlights the importance of reconsidering the role of architecture; not only as a physical entity but also as a crucial arbiter of culture, connection as well as spirituality.
“Junya Ishigami’s Serpentine Pavilion beautifully articulates the architect’s ‘free space’ philosophy in which he seeks harmony between man-made structures and those that already exist in nature. His gravity-defying ‘slate roof’ has welcomed thousands of visitors to the park this summer to enjoy both the space itself and the many live and experimental performances that are programmed especially for the space as part of our annual Cos x Serpentine Park Nights series. It is exciting to imagine its future life in a new environment,” says Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director at Serpentine Galleries.
“Therme Group is successfully developing projects that envision sustainable and inclusive cities, contributing to an ongoing dialogue about the global challenges that we face with our built environments. Our collaboration with Serpentine Galleries highlights our ethos and commitment to changing how we plan our cities and the possibilities that arise when we bridge art and architecture,” says Robert C. Hanea, President and Chairman of the Board at Therme Group.
To celebrate its second year in operation, Therme Art Program hosted a special event for partners, supporters and staff at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire. The evening included remarks from Mikolaj Sekutowicz and Robert C. Hanea, who highlighted the programme’s numerous achievements to date.
Key to the work of Therme Art Program is the commissioning of large-scale, long-term art projects for its esteemed thermal baths – challenging the limitations of conventional exhibition spaces and redefining contemporary art viewing. The inaugural commission – an immersive, site-specific artwork courtesy of acclaimed Icelandic Artist Egill Sæbjörnsson – was announced in December 2017.