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In this movie filmed at the unveiling of this year's Serpentine Gallery Pavilion in London today, Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto explains the effect he wanted to achieve with the design of his pavilion.
"The inspiration started from the beautiful surroundings [of the Serpentine Gallery]," 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 sturcture that melts into the background."
To do 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 was fascinated by such a beautiful contrast [beween] the really sharp, artificial white grids and the organic, formless experience [of the structure as a whole]."
Fujimoto goes on to reveal that it took him longer 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.
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."
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