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This year’s Serpentine Pavilion reveals the shocking truth behind most modern architecture

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On the grounds of the Serpentine art gallery in London’s Kensington Gardens public park, the latest iteration of an architectural spectacle has just opened. The Serpentine Pavilion, a prestigious annual architectural commission now in its 21st year, is a temporary public building featuring boundary-pushing designs by some of the top minds in the field. This year’s version, designed by Chicago-based artist and sculptor Theaster Gates, is a tall, dark, cylindrical building named Black Chapel. Intended to be a space for gathering and meditation, the spare interior is decorated with seven black tar paintings by Gates and lit from above by a central oculus.

But beyond its artistic and architectural substance, this year’s pavilion has a deeper and more impactful message. To the greatest extent possible, Black Chapel was built without any materials produced by slave labor.

[Photo: Iwan........

© Fast Company

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