Multi award-winning Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto is the thirteenth and, at 41, youngest architect to accept the invitation to design a temporary structure for the Serpentine Gallery in London. Fujimoto worked with United Visual Artists, UVA, to bring this structure to life. UVA is an art and design practice based in London, creating work that lies at the intersections of sculpture, architecture, live performance and installation. For the last thirteen years the Serpentine’s annual Pavilion commission have included designs by Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei (2012), Frank Gehry (2008), Oscar Niemeyer (2003) and Zaha Hadid, who designed the inaugural structure in 2000.
Sou Fujimoto is one of the pioneers of an exciting new generation of artists who are showing a new relationship with the built environment. Fujimoto states:
“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.
For the 2013 Pavilion I propose an architectural landscape: a transparent terrain that encourages people to interact with and explore the site in diverse ways. Within the pastoral context of Kensington Gardens, I envisage the vivid greenery of the surrounding plant life woven together with a constructed geometry. A new form of environment will be created, where the natural and the man-made merge; not solely architectural nor solely natural, but a unique meeting of the two.
The Pavilion will be a delicate, three-dimensional structure, each unit of which will be composed of fine steel bars. It will form a semi-transparent, irregular ring, simultaneously protecting visitors from the elements while allowing them to remain part of the landscape. The overall footprint will be 350 square-metres and the Pavilion will have two entrances. A series of stepped terraces will provide seating areas that will allow the Pavilion to be used as a flexible, multi-purpose social space.
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.”
The installation will be open at the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, London until 20 October 2013.
From The Citrus Report