Serpentine Pavilion by Sou Fujimoto

This is the latest Serpentine Gallery Pavilion designed by Sou Fujimoto and unveiled yesterday. At 41, the Japanese architect is the youngest creative to participate in the design of this temporary structure that resides in London’s Kensington Garden for four months.

His creation is a delicate, three-dimensional latticed structure made of 20mm fine steel poles that forms a lightweight and semi-transparent sculpture almost blending in with the surrounding landscape. The flexible, multi-purpose social space has a café inside to encourage park visitors to enter and interact with the Pavilion.

Fujimoto is very much part of an exciting generation of avant-garde artists who are re-inventing our relationship with the built environment. Inspired by organic structures, such as the forest, the nest and the cave, his signature buildings inhabit a space between nature and artificiality.

He describes his design concept: ‘The delicate quality of the structure, enhanced by its semi-transparency, creates a geometric, cloud-like form, as if it were mist rising from the undulations of the park. From certain vantage points, the Pavilion appears to merge with the classical structure of the Serpentine Gallery, with visitors suspended in space.’

Fujimoto is the third Japanese architect to design the Pavilion, following Toyo Ito in 2002 and Kazuyo Sejima & Ryue Nishizawa of SANAA in 2009. He has completed the majority of his buildings in Japan, with commissions ranging from the domestic, such as Final Wooden House, T House and House N, to the institutional, such as the Musashino Art Museum and Library at Musashino Art University.

The Pavilion is an exciting project that is organised by the Serpentine Gallery. Past work have included designs by Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei (2012), Frank Gehry (2008), the late Oscar Niemeyer (2003) and Zaha Hadid, who designed the inaugural structure in 2000.

Nargess Shahmanesh Banks

Read our previous reports on the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion projects here.

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