Sou Fugimoto’s Serpentine Pavilion

Serpentine Pavilion Sou Fugimoto

Yesterday the Serpentine Gallery announced that Sou Fugimoto has been selected to design the 2013 Serpentine Pavilion, a temporary structure open for four months starting in June. Fujimoto’s proposal, a cloud-like structure composed of 20-mm steel poles that intersect and form a delicate linear latticework to shelter a cafe and events space below,  continues the architect’s exploration of transparent and organically generated forms.

The pavilion also, whether Fugimoto is aware of it or not, continues a particular thread of soft and flexible architecture systems pioneered by the megastructuralists in the 1960s and in particular the works of Yona Friedman.

Serpentine Pavilion, Sou Fujimoto
Sketches of the hyper-democratic and free space of Yona Friedman

We, here at Animal Architecture have a particular affinity for large-scale, delicate lattice-structures ourselves.  A recently published piece on soft and reslient architectural systems titled “Scaffolding City” explores just such ideas.

Scaffolding City is a place where citizens hold the potential to reshape their cities and where the built landscape becomes a collectively more active, agile and soft system. It is a radically heterogeneous city — part super-structure, part favela, part bird-nest and part tree house where many different urban animals can roost, camp, and live. It is sometimes a parasitic or a symbiotic structure, latching on to other structures or borrowing resources for a short amount of time. In return, Scaffolding City capitalizes under-utilized spaces and generates micro-economies of alternative resources. This city has never been seen before but might look strangely familiar. It is a city from the future past.

We’re not exactly in cloud-shaped, or organically designed but, it’s encouraging to see the idea return to the public realm and in such a prominent location.

Scaffolding City; Ned Dodington


Scaffolding City; Ned Dodington
Half Unit rhinoExport
Section through a series of stacked residentail units in Scaffolding City; Ned Dodington



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