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.
- Izabela Jurcewicz uses her camera to become both a surgeon and a patient
- XYZ Lab designs a removable and “grotesque” fifth issue for Rouge Fashion Book
- Relive the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer through Summer of Something Special
- Intimate, safe and romantic: Ekaterina Popova paints the interiors of her friend’s bedrooms
- Alfie Dwyer on creating game-like worlds and moulding tangible films like “putty”
- Through playful forms, Bára Růžičková tackles the rigid structure of the design industry
- Facebook rebrands to distinguish the company from the app
- Jack Kenyon photographs the wondrous spectacle of the Supreme Cat Show
- &Walsh designs Zooba's identity inspired by the busy streets of Cairo
- A book chronicling tiny, bizarre treasures curated by Wes Anderson and Juman Malouf
- Find hidden squares and experimental inktraps in Fatih Hardal's FH Giselle
- Pentagram’s Giorgia Lupi on her data-driven designs for & Other Stories