London's 2013 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion

One of my favorite things about summer in London (besides the approximately 10 days of sunshine we're blessed with) is checking out the pavilion at the Serpentine Gallery in Hyde Park. The contemporary art gallery, next to the park's Serpentine lake, has had a different architect design a temporary structure every year since 2000. 

The annual commission is meant to showcase the best architects and design teams worldwide who have not (at the time of the commission) had a building constructed in England, as well as provide a free space for London's park-visiting public to hang out, take shelter and interact with modern design. 

The structures are only open for four months, from June to September, and are also designed in a hurry: architects are only invited to design their space three months prior to this. Previous architects chosen include Zaha Hadid, Frank Gehry, Daniel Libeskind and Ai Weiwei. 

Every year the space is new, unique and inspiring, and this year's pavilion, by Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto, is no exception. The cloud-like grid is constructed of 20mm steel tubing, glass surfaces on which to sit, and acrylic discs to keep the rain off. It's designed as a flexible social space, with a café inside, and visitors are encouraged to sit, climb, and explore. I haven't checked it out personally yet, but I'm looking forward to doing so sometime this month. 

Check out more photos of this year's pavilion on Dezeen, and explore previous years' commissions on the Serpentine Gallery website. 

(Images: Dezeen)

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