Sou Fujimoto’s serpentine gallery pavillion unveiled

Iwan Baan

Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto’s cloud-like structure was unveiled on the lawn outside the Serpentine Gallery in Kensington Gardens yesterday. At 41, Fujimoto is the youngest architect to design a structure for the gallery.

The structure, which is made from a white lattice of steel poles, consists of grids in varying densities so as to frame or obscure the surrounding park by different degrees as visitors move around it.

Circles of transparent polycarbonate amongst the poles afford shelter from the rain but also create a layer that reflects sunlight from within.


“I tried to create something – of course really artificial – but nicely melding together with these surroundings, to create a nice mixture of nature and architecture,” said Sou Fujimoto.

“This grid is really artificial, sharp, transparent order, but the whole atmosphere made by grids is more blurring and ambiguous, like trees or a forest or clouds. So we can have the beautiful duality of the artificial order and natural order,” he added.

The annual unpaid Serpentine Gallery Pavilion commission is one of the most highly sought-after small projects in world architecture and goes to a major architect who hasn’t yet built in the UK.

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