2013 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion by Sou Fujimoto

The Serpentine Gallery in London has announced that award-winning architect Sou Fujimoto will design the 2013 edition of its annual Pavilion.

At 41, Fujimoto is the youngest architect to accept the honor of designing the temporary Pavilion in Hyde Park, London. His project will consist of an ethereal web of 20mm steel poles creating a semi-transparent delicate structure where the surrounding nature merges with the space. The whole design concept revolves around inviting interaction from visitors while protecting them from the elements and simultaneously allowing them to blend with the landscape. Seating areas are disseminated throughout the whole 350m2 structure, and a cafe will also be hosted inside.

This will be the 13th edition of the prestigious architectural program, preceded by illustrious contributions from Frank Gehry in 2008, Zaha Hadid who designed the inaugurating structure in 2000, and most recently Herzog & De Meuron together with Ai Weiwei in 2012. Fujimoto is also the third Japanese designer to contribute to the project, following Toyo Ito (2002) and SANAA (2009).

In his own words, “The delicate quality of the structure, enhanced by its semi-transparency, will create a geometric, cloud-like form, as if it were mist rising from the undulations of the park. From certain vantage points, the Pavilion will appear to merge with the classical structure of the Serpentine Gallery, with visitors suspended in space.”

Mostly locating his previous work in Japan, the Pavilion will be a great occasion for London and Europe to become familiar with Fujimoto’s ethereal structures. Both residential and cultural, his buildings manifest the importance of the relationship between inner and outer spaces, translating into projects like a house with no walls, or a library where shelves become the walls and extend to the exterior as well. Airy, light and delicate, geometry and the color white embody Fujimoto’s highly rational signature aesthetic, while reminding us of the beautiful installation by another great Japanese designer, Nendo, at this year’s Stockholm Furniture Fair. – Gemma Riberti

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