Design for Freedom Pilot Project Brief

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Serpentine Pavilion, Black Chapel

London, UK | 10 June – 16 October 2022

The 21st Serpentine Pavilion, Black Chapel designed by Chicago-based artist Theaster Gates and realised with the architectural support of Adjaye Associates, is the first international Design for Freedom Pilot Project.

Black Chapel was designed to minimise its carbon footprint and environmental impact. The predominantly timber structure is light-weight and fully demountable, with a focus on sustainably and ethically sourced materials and the reusability of the structure as it will be relocated to a permanent site after its time installed at Serpentine.

In its role as Responsible Materials Advisor, Grace Farms worked with Serpentine and AECOM to trace several materials, including plywood and timber, steelwork, concrete, and the weatherproofing membrane. The team engaged with suppliers and manufacturers to trace and document these materials as far upstream in the supply chain as possible. Specifically, the project team was able to determine material sourcing as far back as Tier 4 suppliers and in some cases to the point of raw material extraction, thereby creating transparency and sourcing products that reduced the risk of forced and child labour in the construction of the Pavilion.

Grace Farms and Serpentine will enhance visibility of the Pavilion’s material tracing and responsible materials advisor role with programming at Serpentine and in the U.S. at Grace Farms.

Pilot Project Team: AECOM, Grace Farms Foundation and Serpentine Galleries

Project size: 201sm/2163sf

Materials tracked:

  • Plywood: Benches, exterior cladding skin
  • Timber: Truss columns, roof beams, internal walls, flooring, external cladding
  • Steel: Roof and column joists, webs
  • Concrete: Foundation
  • Waterproofing: Membrane

16+ suppliers/manufacturers in the product supply chain

Materials sourced from: Finland, France, Ireland, Sweden, United Kingdom, and United States

Certifications include: FSC, PEFC, BES 6001 & 6002

Additional sustainability certifications and standards include: BM Trada, Cradle to Gate, EPDs, ISO 9001 & 14001

Suppliers provided the following documentationto meet Design for Freedom Principles:

  • Codes of Conduct, Codes of Ethics
  • CSR & ESG Policies, Human Rights Policies
  • Slavery & Human Trafficking Statements
  • UK Modern Slavery Act Compliance

Download the Serpentine Pilot Project Brief