sou fujimoto to design cloud like 2013 serpentine pavilion
sou fujimoto to design cloud like 2013 serpentine pavilion sou fujimoto to design cloud like 2013 serpentine pavilion
feb 14, 2013

sou fujimoto to design cloud like 2013 serpentine pavilion

‘2013 serpentine pavilion’ by sou fujimoto, london, englandimage © sou fujimoto



the prestigious temporary serpentine pavilion in london’s kensignton gardens will be designed in 2013 by japanese architect sou fujimoto, the youngest designerin history to take part in the three month installation. the transparent irregular cloud structure will take up approximately 350 square meters with a delicate metal lattice structure made of 20 mm pipes that will create an interactive architectural landscape. hosting a variety of events, the pavilion willbe deeply embedded contextually into the site as well as into its social facets, resulting in an engaging structure that almost floats above and around itsvisitors.


architect sou fujimoto explains his concept:


‘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 kensingtongardens, 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.


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 visitors from the elements while allowing them to remain part of the landscape. the overall footprint will be 350 square-metres and the pavilion will have two entrances. a series of stepped terraces will provide seating areas that will allow the pavilion to be used as a flexible, multi-purpose social space.


the delicate quality of the structure, enhanced by its semi-transparency, will create a geometric, cloud-like form, as if it were mist rising from the undulations of the park.from certain vantage points, the pavilion will appear to merge with the classical structure of the serpentine gallery, with visitors suspended in space.’



interiorimage © sou fujimoto

interior is protected from the elements while providing a feeling of being part of the landscapeimage © sou fujimoto

made up of a regular 3D grid of slender metal tubes creates varying levels of transparencyimage © sou fujimoto

image © sou fujimoto

  • can’t wait to see the finished pavilion

    dbkii says:
  • Judging from the images and text provided here, this proposal lacks integrity. The canopy does not seem to make use of the structural strength of steel in an interesting way, most of it is merely decorative and given a dubious epithet. If a soft or fibrous material was used, at least “the cloud” could be inhabited without the risk of getting pierced. And aren’t pavilions supposed to provide protection from sun, wind and rain? This design manages to use a maximum amount of material to provide a minimum of protection. Finally I don’t see the poetic dimension that could balance the above issues. But that’s a matter of taste I guess.

    Max says:
  • Sou Fujimoto is acknowledged for this kind of style. I personally would like to say it as “cubical space”, where space are made of simple connecting line and often very basic cube mass. Structurally, it’s almost just barely steel connected to another steel. But, these steels (hard) are then transformed poetically into some philosophical concept of nature (soft). So he would like to interpret that something hard could be recognized as soft. I guess it’s matter of taste.

    Most of his works are exposing people to the nature and bring them back to its nature state.. This could be seen in “Wooden House” and “Tree House”. Some people would like to consider it as uncomfortable, but others would like to think this as fresh design.

    bigRBK says:
  • Thanks for the lecture @bjRBK but I know Mr Fujimoto’s work very well. Unfortunately this proposal (and others he has published recently) indicate stagnation. There is nothing wrong with the concept of trying to make something hard seem soft, the crux is in the way the idea is then translated into a design. This one does so with a conspicuous lack of sophistication.

    Max says:
  • amazingggggg:)

    im hve completed my 1st year in b.arch just need ur presious guidence 🙂

    prachi tiwari says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

architecture news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
492,041 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample