Serpentine Galleries

Francis Kéré, the award-winning architect from Gando, Burkina Faso, was commissioned to design the Serpentine Pavilion 2017

Inspired by the tree that serves as a central meeting point for life in his home town of Gando, Francis Kéré designed a responsive Pavilion that sought 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.

At the centre of the Pavilion is a large opening in the canopy, creating an immediate connection to nature. In times of rain, the roof becomes a funnel channelling water into the heart of the structure.

"In the evening, the canopy becomes a source of illumination. Wall perforations will give glimpses of movement and activity inside the pavilion to those outside. In my home village of Gando (Burkina Faso), it is always easy to locate a celebration at night by climbing to higher ground and searching for the source of light in the surrounding darkness. This small light becomes larger as more and more people arrive to join the event. In this way the Pavilion will become a beacon of light, a symbol of storytelling and togetherness." Francis Kéré

"I love the idea of circles and curved walls. They can create communities, but not just at the centre of the Pavilion. There can be micro-communities around the centre." Francis Kéré

Explore the 2017 Serpentine Pavilion for yourself!

Credits: Story

Photography © Iwan Baan and John Offenbach
Film produced by Candida Richardson

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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