41 years old, Sou Fujimoto is the youngest architect to accept the invitation to design a temporary structure for the Serpentine Gallery. The most ambitious worldwide architectural programme of its kind, the Serpentine’s annual Pavilion commission is one of the most anticipated announcements on the cultural calendar. Past Pavilions have included designs by Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei (2012), Frank Gehry, the late Oscar Niemeyer in 2003 and Zaha Hadid, who designed the inaugural structure in 2000.
Widely acknowledged as one of the most important architects coming to prominence worldwide, Sou Fujimoto is the leading light of an exciting generation of artists who are re-inventing our relationship with the built environment. Inspired by organic structures, such as the forest, the nest and the cave, Fujimoto’s signature buildings inhabit a space between nature and artificiality. Fujimoto has completed the majority of his buildings in Japan, with commissions ranging from the domestic, such as House N, to the institutional, such as the Musashino Art Museum and Library at Musashino Art University.
Describing his design concept, Sou Fujimoto said:
“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“.