Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto has designed the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2013. At 41, Fujimoto is the youngest architect to accept the invitation to create a temporary structure for the Serpentine Gallery. The Pavilion is constructed from 20mm white steel poles in an intricate latticework pattern that seems to rise up out of the ground like a shimmering matrix. The Pavilion is intended as a free-flowing social space that Fujimoto has described as “a transparent terrain”.
Fujimoto is the thirteenth architect to design the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion and his shape-shifting structure is added to a list of past pavilions designed by architects that include Herzog & de Meuron, Frank Gehry and the late Oscar Niemeyer.
Occupying some 350 square-metres of lawn in front of the Serpentine Gallery, 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 and against the classical backdrop of the gallery's colonnaded east wing. Designed as a flexible, multi-purpose social space - with a café situated inside - visitors are encouraged to enter and interact with the Pavilion in different ways throughout its four-month tenure in London's Kensington Gardens.
Fujimoto is the third Japanese architect to accept the invitation to design the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, following Toyo Ito in 2002 and Kazuyo Sejima & Ryue Nishizawa of SANAA in 2009.