Sou Fujimoto is the latest and youngest architect who designed the prestigious temporary structure in front of the Serpentine Gallery, which this year was opened on the 8th of June. Made out of 20mm steel poles the structure has taken in nearly 3800 square feet of the London gallery’s front lawn. It is designed as a flexible, multi-purpose social space, with a café inside it. Fujimoto and his team designed the building with the ambition to persuade people to enter and interact with the pavilion throughout its four-month presence in London’s Kensington Gardens. The official photography of the pavilion was commissioned to my brother Iwan Baan.
In the hands of United Visual Artists, a London-based artist studio that specialises in sound and light architecture, in a collaboration with creative agency My Beautiful City, the impressive pavilion became even more than just a beautifully designed structure. For the annual summer party that took place on the 26th of June; the pavilion evolved into the perfect subject within a marvelous play of light and sound. United Visual Artists transformed Fujimoto’s structure with a light show that resembled a heavy lightning storm and on the other hand, due to the hybridization of light and sound, showing resemblance to the stage DJ Etienne de Crecy used to perform his shows in. United Visual Artists states on the project:
Our intervention aimed to evoke a terrific and comparatively overwhelming electric storm in the architecture, kind of simply aiming to bring it to life.
To bring life to the structure through light and sound a level of randomness needed to be achieved. In order to succeed in this United Visual Artists created a custom, high-brightness LED strip that was encased in a clear plastic tube with magnets attached to it. This allowed the lights to adhere to and blend maximally with Sou Fujimoto’s structure. To further enhance the idea of a natural storm, the visuals were accompanied by a soundtrack of samples taken from electrical plants and other random soundbites. After the sound fragments were categorized, they were connected to certain light activity, making the effect as random and non-linear as possible, much like a thunderstorm.
The pavilion will continue to be present in front of the Serpentine Gallery until the 20th of October. For more information see here.