London | Diébédo Francis Kéré to design 2017 Serpentine Pavilion
By RICCARDO BIANCHINI - March 1, 2017
Diébédo Francis Kéré, leader of Berlin-based practice Kéré Architecture, is the seventeenth architect to accept the Serpentine Galleries’ invitation to design a temporary pavilion in its grounds.
Since its launch in 2000, this annual commission of an international architect to build his or her first structure in London at the time of invitation has become one of the most anticipated events in the global cultural calendar and a leading visitor attraction during London’s summer season. Serpentine Artistic Director Hans Ulrich Obrist and CEO Yana Peel made their selection of the architect, with advisors David Adjaye and Richard Rogers.
Inspired by the tree that serves as a central meeting point for life in his home town of Gando, in Burkina Faso, Francis Kéré has designed a responsive Pavilion that “seeks to connect its visitors to nature – and each other. An expansive roof, supported by a central steel framework, mimics a tree’s canopy, allowing air to circulate freely while offering shelter against London rain and summer heat.”
Located, as usual, in Kensington Gardens, Kéré’s pavilion will be composed of two main parts. An open courtyard will provide seating and a background for meetings and performances. The courtyard will be sheltered by a large roof, made in wood, whose shape resembles that of an inverted parasol.
The roof will be supported by a central “trunk” and will provide shade in sunny days while, along with giving shelter, it will work as a large funnel in rainy ones, collecting water for later use in irrigating the park.
Serpentine Pavilion 2017 designed by Keré Architecture, Design render © Keré Architecture
Kéré Architecture, Camper Pop-up Shop at Vitra; Weil am Rhein, Germany, 2015 ©Vitra. Photography by Eduardo Perez
Kéré Architecture, Gando Primary School; Gando, Burkina Faso, 2001 © Simeon Duchoud
All images courtesy of Serpentine Galleries