Sou Fujimoto’s Envision Pavillion opened at the Shanghai Himalaya’s Center as part of the Shanghai Project. The official opening was on September 4th, 2016. In October, we decided to ride our bikes over to Pudong to check it out first hand. Being curated by Hans-Ulrich Obrist and designed by Sou Fujimoto our expectations towards the pavilion were high.
All the more disappointing than the actual structure.
It’s a piece that looks better from afar!
While it’s a huge plus of living in Shanghai as a global hub for art, music, design – culture – the execution unfortunately sometimes lacks.
In te case of the Shanghai Project, the architectural intention is strong. The execution, however, is met with the typical local way of construction. Non-aligning plates are matched with heaps of silicone sprayed in between, the ground is uneven so that lights stick out funnily. The structure is locked with a cheap bicycle chain lock and after being open for only 2 weeks, rust is creeping all over the place.
That said, it’s an enjoyable 20km bicycle ride out to the Himalaya’s center from the heart of the French Concession. There is an Irish Pub close by and on the way home I recommend you stop by the French Bakery near Fuxing ferry for an excellent pastry and coffee. Not the worst way to spend a Sunday.