Diébédo Francis Kéré founder of Berlin-based Kéré Architecture, has been appointed as the 17th architect to design the temporary pavilion in the grounds of the Serpentine Gallery in London. Francis, from Gando, Burkina Faso, was appointed by Serpentine artistic director Hans Ulrich Obrist and CEO Yana Peel along 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, Francis Kéré has designed a responsive pavilion that seeks to connect its visitors to nature – and each other,” says the gallery. “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.”
Francis’ work is committed to socially engaged and ecological design in his practice, evident in his award-winning primary school in Burkina Faso, solo shows in Munich and Philadelphia and his installation as part of the 2014 exhibition at the Royal Academy, Sensing Spaces.
“As an architect, it is an honour to work in such a grand park, especially knowing the history of how the gardens evolved and changed into what we see today. Every path and tree, even the Serpentine lake, were carefully designed,” says Francis. “I am fascinated by how this artificial landscape offered a new way for people in the city to experience nature. In Burkina Faso, I am accustomed to being confronted with climate and natural landscape as a harsh reality. For this reason I was interested in how my contribution to this Royal Park could not only enhance the visitor’s experience of nature, but also provoke a new way for people to connect with each other.”
The architect follows in the footsteps of the likes of BIG, OMA, Peter Zumthor and Herzog and de Meuron in accepting the commission.
- From admirer to employee: The New York Times Magazine designer Ben Grandgenett
- Amina Bouajila’s illustrations flit between reality and limbo in colourful hues
- Rufus Newell uses curves and scribbles to depict Greek gods and heroes
- Designer Sepus Noordmans talks about simplicity and structure in his portfolio
- Swedish artist Ekta reconsiders simple geometric shapes
- Rob Bailey talks through creating over 40 posters for London Underground
- Petition launched against winner of Foam Paul Huf photography award for “stereotyping and sexism”
- Exclusive: rediscover graphics from Fiorucci’s archival 1984 Panini collaboration
- Kirsten Lepore’s creepy clay character is oddly soothing in this brilliant animation
- Me & EU project will send creative postcards across Europe on trigger date of Article 50
- Phaidon book gathers together 500 of the most iconic graphic designs of all time
- Atelier Brenda: the alter ego of three female designers you need to get to know