At 41, Sou Fujimoto was the youngest architect to accept the invitation to create a temporary Pavilion for the Serpentine Galleries. The Pavilion was constructed from 20mm white steel poles in an intricate latticework pattern that seemed to rise up out of the ground like a shimmering matrix.
In this movie filmed by Dezeen at the unveiling of the 2013 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, Sou Fujimoto explains how he used a rigid geometric grid to create a soft and natural atmosphere.
"The inspiration started from the beautiful surroundings," Fujimoto says. "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 structure that melts into the background."
Occupying some 350 square-metres of lawn in front of the Serpentine Gallery, Sou Fujimoto's delicate structure had a lightweight and semi-transparent appearance that allowed 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 sited inside - visitors were encouraged to enter and interact with the Pavilion in different ways throughout its four-month tenure in London's Kensington Gardens.
"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." Sou Fujimoto
Sou Fujimoto and David Glover, chief executive, building engineering at AECOM, go inside the making of the Pavilion and follows its journey from concept to reality.
Photography provided by Iwan Baan, Jim Stephenson and Sou Fujimoto Architects