"I tried to create something between
nature and architecture" - Sou Fujimoto

| 8 comments

In this movie filmed by Dezeen at the unveiling of this year's Serpentine Gallery Pavilion in London today, Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto explains how he used a rigid geometric grid to create a soft and natural atmosphere. Update: this interview is featured in Dezeen Book of Interviews, which is on sale now for £12.

"I tried to create something between nature and architecture"
Photograph by Iwan Baan

"The inspiration started from the beautiful surroundings," Fujimoto says. "I was so impressed by the beautiful green surroundings, so I tried to create in this green environment something between nature and architecture, tried to create a transparent structure that melts into the background."

"I tried to create something between nature and architecture"
Photograph by Iwan Baan

To achieve this, Fujimoto created his pavilion from a white lattice of steel poles, with variations in density creating a structure that appears more or less transparent depending on where you stand.

"The grid itself is quite straight, rigid and quite artificial," he says. "But when you have such a huge amount, it becomes more like an organic cloud-like or forest-like [structure].

"I tried to create something between nature and architecture"
Photograph by Iwan Baan

"I was fascinated by such a beautiful contrast [beween] the really sharp, artificial white grids and the organic, formless experience."

"I tried to create something between nature and architecture"
Image copyright Dezeen

Fujimoto goes on to reveal that it took him a while to work out how protect visitors to the pavilion from the rain. "We couldn't put a roof on [it] because it would spoil this beautiful structure," he says. "Finally we had the idea to use polycarbonate transparent discs," which slot in between the gaps in the lattice.

"I tried to create something between nature and architecture"
Image copyright Dezeen

The polycarbonate tiles are not just to provide shelter, Fujimoto says. "Sometimes, if the wind is coming, [the roof] starts to swing and [creates] a more soft atmosphere, and a beautiful contrast with the grid."

See our earlier story for more images of Sou Fujimoto's pavilion »

"I tried to create something between nature and architecture"
Sou Fujimoto

See all our stories about the Serpentine Gallery Pavilions »
See more architecture by Sou Fujimoto »

  • frogmarch

    Dematerialise! Defamiliarise!

  • Ross

    Can I apply for a position in your practice, it looks like you stole my RIBA Part 2 project from 2010?!

  • Matt

    If he started designing this in November that would mean he pretty much copied Suppose Design Office’s “Mountain Gym” which was finished in October.

  • TT…

    "I tried to create something between nature and architecture."
    I knew that because it looks like a jungle(nature) gym(architecture).

  • Christine

    “I tried to create something between nature and architecture.” How many times architects have said this in the past 100 years? Some how it has become the most politically correct cliche in the discourse of architecture theory. It is sad.

  • nicola

    I’m not into computer rendering that imitate reality but I think it’s OK; when architecture imitates computer renderings I get well p***** off.

  • TT….

    This kind of architecture should be a vestige of the last century. It treats realities as something in a museum. It requires more money than artistic or architectural talents to design something like this, making architecture as a rich-kid’s playground.

    Here is the way to do it: pick any abstract pattern from a looking nice art-piece, and apply that pattern for a bigger object, and name that architecture, and publish on any magazine or website. Thoughtless students would love that and call you a master under whom willingly work for free.

    However, the numerous masters have not solved any single architectural or urban problem in our modern cities, but have made our profession miserable and trivial more and more with their hollow architecture and mind. We should stop this in this century.

  • Jonathan

    Grid + Organic = Minecraft