The Serpentine Gallery’s annual Pavilion has become something of a landmark in London’s art and design calendar. In its 13 years it’s seen some of the most prominent figures in global architecture showcasing the breadth of their skills in a fast-paced, experimental environment that allows them to produce a structure that best demonstrates their architectural philosophy – a kind of temporary calling card for the world to enjoy. Frank Gehry, Peter Zumthor, Zaha Hadid and the late Oscar Niemeyer have all produced pavilions in the past decade or so, and it’s safe to say they’re all household names now, though some were not before their pavilions took shape.
This year’s Sou Fujimoto-designed structure has received no less publicity than we’d expect from such a high-profile architect exhibiting in one of the most highly-regarded art environments around. Fujimoto is the youngest architect ever to be invited to create a pavilion but despite his youth, he’s more than deserving of the honour; his Japanese practice is fast becoming one of the country’s most highly-respected architectural firms and regularly produces groundbreaking structural work.
But all this prestige is irrelevant if the thing doesn’t look good when you stroll round it, or fails to function as an exciting public space. That’s the point of these things after all, not simply to be seen but to be used by everyone. Thankfully Sou’s pavilion delivers on all fronts, offering a light, transient public space that feels functional and fit to purpose as well as being utterly breathtaking to behold.
- Yeji Yun’s imaginative zine combines frozen lands, whales and cocktails
- Zhang Kechun encapsulates the oblivion of China's mysterious Yellow River
- Artist Anna Valdez brings her eye for detail to digital painting
- Bold in its broadness, the work of Dave Singley
- Córdova Canillas seek inspiration between nostalgia and obsolescence for C de C annual
- Mercedes-Benz team up with Ace Norton, Homer Hans Bryant and Sandy Liang for new short
- Reasons Not To Do Graphic Design by Yotam Hadar
- Nostalgia in branding: top design studios analyse the NatWest and Co-op retrobrands
- Google and Monotype launch Noto, an open-source typeface family for all the world’s languages
- The only way is ethics: what are the moral obligations of a graphic designer?
- Rachel Levit illustrates contemporary relationships in new book
- Creative agency INT Works relaunches as Anyways, with a playful graphic identity