Serpentine Pavilion 2013

Here you can see Sou Fujimoto’s 2013 Serpentine Pavilion on the front lawn of London’s Serpentine Gallery. The cloud-like structure on the lawn outside the Serpentine Gallery in Kensington Gardens is made from a white lattice of steel poles.

The grid varies in density, framing or obscuring the surrounding park by different degrees as visitors move around it. Circles of transparent polycarbonate amongst the poles afford shelter from the rain but also create a layer that reflects sunlight from within.

“I tried to create something – of course really artificial – but nicely melding together with these surroundings, to create a nice mixture of nature and architecture,” said Sou Fujimoto at the press conference.

“This grid is really artificial, sharp, transparent order, but the whole atmosphere made by grids is more blurring and ambiguous, like trees or a forest or clouds. So we can have the beautiful duality of the artificial order and natural order,” he added.

The lattice parts in the middle to house seating for a cafe. The annual unpaid Serpentine Gallery Pavilion commission is one of the most highly sought-after small projects in world architecture and goes to a major architect who hasn’t yet built in the UK.

Occupying some 357 square-metres of lawn, Sou Fujimoto’s delicate, latticed structure of 20mm steel poles has a lightweight and semi-transparent appearance that allows it to blend, cloud-like, into the landscape against the classical backdrop of the Gallery’s colonnaded East wing.

Designed as a flexible, multi-purpose social space, visitors will be encouraged to enter and interact with the Pavilion in different ways.

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