New forms of environment are being created that merge the natural and man made, enabling a unique marriage of architecture and nature. We call this Exterior Design, a blanket term that combines architecture, landscape design, gardens, interior connections and outdoor sculpture and installations under one roof. Over the years we are finding our designs and approach to projects gravitating more and more towards harmonising the manufactured and nature, but also challenging our pre-conceptions of it too.
Sou Fujimoto is a huge inspiration to us, currently as the leading light in a new generation of artists who are reinventing our relationship with the built environment and landscapes: both country and urban.
Fujimoto’s designs inhabit a space between nature and imitation, clearly structured by organic dwellings like nests, caves and forests. Concepts are manipulated and molded into spaces that allow inhabitants or visitors entirely new experiences and new ways of connecting with the outdoors. There are not really any outdoors with Fujimoto – the boundaries between inside and out are blurred, blended and bended.
Sou Fujimoto has designed this year’s Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, opened to the public this weekend. At 41 he is the youngest architect to attain this much sought after commission.
The Serpentine Gallery’s architectural program sees a new temporary outdoor structure built every year by June for a four-month tenure in London’s Kensington Gardens.
Fujimoto’s aim was not to create a building but to create a place. An “architectural garden”.
In keeping with a large portion of his projects Fujimoto has again adopted a cloud like form for the Pavilion. In this case a delicate lattice like structure in white-coated steel forming a semi-transparent irregular ring that protects visitors from the elements. This cloud-like transparency also allows them to remain and feel connected to parts of the surrounding landscape.
He has created a geometric cloud-shaped form that appears to rise like a mist over the undulations of the park. All vantage points have been considered; internally and from afar and the result is a multi-purpose social space with people suspended in it.
The Serpentine Gallery Pavilion inhabits 350 square metres of park. In Fujimoto’s words “For the 2013 Pavilion I propose an architectural landscape: a transparent terrain that encourages people to interact and explore the site in diverse ways.”
Sou Fujimoto always designs houses and places to function on multi-purpose levels. The absence of walls in some spaces and the inclusion of them in other unexpected ones creates a strangely harmonious coexistence of order & disorder throughout his work. Truly inspirational.
Blown off the same cloud
On trend: Other designers & artists that are exploring cloud forms, either by capturing them or capturing us within them.
Leandro Erlich’s Single cloud collection.
Nimbus Berndnaut Smilde
Sustainable house by GLR Architects, Gilberto L. Rodriguez
Cloud constellation By Nathan Sawaya from the ‘In Pieces’ Exhibit.
Yes it’s lego.
Meteoros by Lucy and Jorge Orta hangs above London St Pancras Station.
Installation performance art by Caitland Brown and Wayne Garrett.
“What happens when a five year old, an 85 year old and an intoxicated twenty year old stumble upon a Cloud made of over six thousand light bulbs? Interaction ensues and a performance is born.”
The much controversial MVRDV’s ‘The Cloud’. Artists impression pictured above, designed back in 2011. When the Dutch architects firm designed the connected twin towers for South Korea they experienced a vitriolic backlash from some American camps that viewed it as a re-animation of 9/11 despite the cultural divide. After personal death threats to individuals in the design team and a realisation of the genuine distress this concept was resonating with another culture (one which they had not considered in their design processes) MVRDV went back to the drawing board. Shame. It could have been beautiful but is understandably too close for comfort in our contemporary culture.
and to be inside a cloud whilst safely anchored in historical architecture... could it feel like this?
or does it just feel like being at a big old party?
Head in the Clouds
Ahhh the very lovely Guiness commercial...
Ever wandered as lonely as a cloud?
Some say that every silver lining has a cloud...
Sorry for all the puns but we had to roll with it! (resist, resist the rolling clouds one...)
Are you feeling on cloud nine yet?
Here's to a very sunny Summer with not too many clouds, just the right amount.
Cloud vision image Sourcebook: Iwan, Arch daily, Bingbang Pouf, Design boom, Peta Pixel, Abitare, Daily Mail, Architects journal, Dezeen, We heart it, Home dsgn, Design inspiration, Doug Wong, Guiness, Lonely Cloud wordpress, HC Gardens.