Serpentine Pavilion 2017 designed by Francis Kéré

Monday, June 12, 2017
Serpentine Pavilion 2017 designed by Francis Kéré

Diébédo Francis Kéré, the award-winning architect from Gando, Burkina Faso, has been commissioned to design the Serpentine Pavilion 2017, responding to the brief with a bold, innovative structure that brings his characteristic sense of light and life to the lawns of Kensington Gardens.

Serpentine Pavilion 2017 designed by Francis Kéré

Kéré, who leads the 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, 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.

Kéré was born in 1965 in Gando, Burkina Faso, west Africa and trained at the Technical University of Berlin.  Kéré Architecture has been recognised nationally and internationally with awards including the Aga Khan Award for Architecture (2004) for his first building, a primary school in Gando, Burkina Faso; LOCUS Global Award for Sustainable Architecture (2009); Global Holcim Award Gold (2011 and 2012); Green Planet Architects Award (2013); Schelling Architecture Foundation Award (2014) and the Kenneth Hudson Award – European Museum of the Year (2015).

Serpentine Pavilion 2017, Designed by Francis Kéré, Design Render, Exterior ©Kéré Architecture

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Museo Jumex (a private art collection based in Mexico City, Mexico) / David Chipperfield. Image © Simon Menges

Museo Jumex (a private art collection based in Mexico City, Mexico) / David Chipperfield. Image © Simon Menges

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