Iwan Baan

On display through Oct. 20, this year’s Serpentine Gallery Pavilion was designed by Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto. This marks the 13th occurrence of the prestigious architectural commission to design a temporary structure on the grounds of the Serpentine Gallery in Kensington Gardens in London. In addition, at 41, Fujimoto is the youngest architect to accept the challenge.

Fujimoto’s pavilion is a lattice-like structure of 20mm (0.78-inch) steel poles that sit on 357 square meters (just over 1,100 square feet) on the gallery’s front lawn. The lightweight and semitransparent appearance of the pavilion has an ephemeral quality as it blends against the backdrop of the sky. The installation is intended as a multipurpose social space that includes a café where visitors can relax and take in the surroundings. Said Fujimoto in a press statement: “A new form of environment has been created, where the natural and the man-made merge; not solely architectural or solely natural, but a unique meeting of the two.”

During the day, natural light interacts with the structure to create a play of light and shadow that provides another layer of architectural space. At night, and to stay in tune with the pavilion’s delicate look, the electric lighting is just as soft. Two fixtures—metal halide and LED inground uplights, both provided by Viabizzuno—are positioned in the gravel bed that serves as the pavilion’s “floor.” Aimed at the structure, the play of patterns is interpreted in this nighttime illumination.

For more information about the Serpentine Gallery and the pavilion go to serpentinegallery.org.