Table Talk

How Joburg architect Sumayya Vally is shaping the world's future

Acclaimed architect Sumayya Vally says growing up in Johannesburg gave her ‘the gift of the desire to read things beneath the surface and to look for the city that is under the formal city’

04 July 2021 - 00:00 By claire keeton

South African Sumayya Vally, the youngest architect ever to win the Serpentine Pavilion commission in London, was floating on the fringes of the pavilion in Kensington Gardens ahead of its unveiling last month, elated to see visitors revel in the space.

“It has been marvellous to see people interacting with it as intended,” says Vally. “I had hoped that people would find these niches to sit in, that kids would climb up onto the pavilion from the outside. It is not a building with a back and front. It is meant to be inviting from every angle and there is seating that hugs the entire exterior and inside.”..

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