Scheme designed by South African practice Counterspace

Counterspace's Serpentine Pavilion_2020_Exterior day CGI

Source: Counterspace / Serpentine Galleries

Counterspace’s proposal for the 2020/21 Serpentine Pavilion

This summer’s Serpentine Pavilion commission will be extended to two years for the first time in its history because of the coronavirus lockdown.

South African architects Counterspace will now work on a series of off-site and online research projects this year, culminating next summer in the delayed opening of the pavilion.

Lead architect Sumayya Vally described next year’s build as “Pavilion 20 plus 1”.

David Adjaye, who is a Serpentine Gallery trustee and advises on the annual commission, said the global pandemic had changed the immediate context.

“We look forward to working with Counterspace over the next 12 months to draw more meaningful connections between their pavilion and the people, communities, and nature of London.”

Counterspace's Serpentine Pavilion_2020_Detail Interior CGI

Source: Counterspace / Serpentine Galleries

Counterspace’s proposal for the 2020/21 Serpentine Pavilion: interior detail

Counterspace was picked to design the 20th Serpentine Pavilion back in February when the three directors – all born in 1990 – were hailed as the youngest to receive the prestigious commission.

At the time Vally, Sarah de Villiers and Amina Kaskar, said they wanted to engage with London well beyond the railings of Kensington Gardens and announced they would hold events in parts of London known for their immigrant and peripheral communities – and then bring back items from those neighbourhoods to aid the construction.

The annual summer fundraising party which is held in the pavilion and always attracts a glitzy line-up of celebrities, will also move to 2021, along with the public programme of performances and debates.

The 2020 Serpentine Pavilion had been due to open on 11 June and run till October.

Scores of architectural events have been postponed or moved online as a result of coronavirus. The Venice Biennale, which should have opened next month, is still hoping to open in August.