Sou Fujimoto / Serpentine Pavilion 2013

It's that time of year again and Summer has finally arrived in London, or has it, but the Serpentine Pavilion is always an eagerly awaited part of Summer in the city. I always feel so lucky to be able to see the pavilions in London.

This year's 13th pavilion is designed by Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto. A cloud inspired pavilion, and with the weather on the day, it even appeared to blend into the sky. I went to take a look at it last week and have taken some photo's of the inspirational installation. There are so many interesting and beautiful ways to view the pavilion, it changes in appearance as you move around it and find new views, highly recommended that you go and see it if you can.

Serpentine Pavilion / Sou Fujimoto

It is a really fundamental question how architecture is different from nature, or how architecture could be part of nature, or how they could be merged...what are the boundaries between nature and artificial things.
— Sou Fujimoto

Sou Fujimoto / Serpentine Pavilion

I tried to create something between nature and architecture
— Sou Fujimoto

Sou Fujimoto/ Serpentine Pavilion

Inspired by organic structures, such as the forest, the nest and the cave, Fujimoto's signature buildings inhabit a space between nature and artificiality. Fujimoto has completed the majority of his buildings in Japan.

Sou Fujimoto/ Serpentine Pavilion

"The inspiration started from the beautiful surroundings [of the Serpentine Gallery]. I was so impressed by the beautiful green surroundings. So I tried to create in this green environment something between nature and architecture, tried to create a transparent sturcture that melts into the background."

To do this, Fujimoto created his pavilion from a white lattice of steel poles, with variations in density creating a structure that appears more or less transparent depending on where you stand.

"The grid itself is quite straight, rigid and quite artificial, but when you have such a huge amount, it becomes more like an organic cloud-like or forest-like [structure].

"I was fascinated by such a beautiful contrast [beween] the really sharp, artificial white grids and the organic, formless experience [of the structure as a whole]."

Fujimoto goes on to reveal that it took him longer to work out how protect visitors to the pavilion from the rain.

"We couldn't put a roof on [it] because it would spoil this beautiful structure," he says. "Finally we had the idea to use polycarbonate transparent discs," which slot in between the gaps in the lattice.

The polycarbonate tiles are not just to provide shelter, Fujimoto says.

"Sometimes, if the wind is coming, [the roof] starts to swing and [creates] a more soft atmosphere, and a beautiful contrast with the grid."

 

Sou Fujimoto / Serpentine Pavilion

Sou Fujimoto's delicate, latticed structure of 20mm steel poles will have a lightweight and semi-transparent appearance that will allow it to blend, cloud-like, into the landscape. Designed as a flexible, multi-purpose social space - with a café sited inside - visitors will be encouraged to enter and interact with the Pavilion in different ways throughout its four-month tenure in London's Kensington Gardens.

See more at The Sepentine

Sou Fujimoto

All Photographs © London Design Journal

Sou Fujimoto / Serpentine Pavilion

Sou Fujimoto / Serpentine Pavilion

Sou Fujimoto / Serpentine Pavilion

Sou Fujimoto / Serpentine Pavilion

Sou Fujimoto / Serpentine Pavilion