Japanese architect designs Serpentine Gallery pavilion

Each year, the Serpentine Gallery in London’s Kensington  Gardens invites an architect who has not completed a work in the U.K. before  to design a temporary pavilion-like structure for public use in the park.  Scores of eager Londoners and international travellers  rush to explore the pavilion, as has been the case for the last 12 years.

On June 8, this year’s Serpentine Gallery pavilion will officially be open to the public.
The chosen architect is Sou Fujimoto from Japan, who at 41 is the youngest ever to be assigned the task.  His semi-transparent pavilion will be a delicate latticework through which visitors will be able to enjoy the natural beauty of  the park while engaging in social events or enjoying a quiet moment in London’s hustle and bustle.

The pavilion’s cloud-like structure is formed of 20mm steel poles which intersect one another like a giant nest.  Architect Fujimoto said of  his design:  “Within the pastoral context of Kensington Gardens….a new form of environment will be created, where the natural and the man-made merge – not solely architectural, not 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 the visitors from the elements while allowing them to remain part of the landscape.  The overall footprint will be 350 sq. m.

A series of stepped terraces will provide seating areas that will allow the pavilion to be used as a flexible multipurpose social space.”

Last year’s Serpentine pavilion was completed by the duo behind the ‘Bird’s Nest’ Stadium in Beijing, China – Herzog & Meuron with Ai Weiwei.  A cork-based structure, it was subtly lit and topped with a shimmering platform of water which could be drained to create a raised space for dancing and commercial events.

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