The Serpentine Pavilion by Diébédo Francis Kéré opens

Diébédo Francis Kéré,

Iwan Baan,


Sport & Wellness, Installation,

Serpentine Pavilion,

The 23rd June saw the opening of the Serpentine Pavilion designed by architect Diébédo Francis Kéré. This is the first time that an African architect has designed the Serpentine Pavilion. The temporary pavilion of the Serpentine Galleries is one of the most eagerly-expected features of the London summer.

The Serpentine Pavilion by Diébédo Francis Kéré opens

Transporting a sense of community and sharing from his country of origin, Burkina Faso, to Kensington Gardens in the centre of London, is what architect Diébédo Francis Kéré has achieved with his recently inaugurated 17th pavilion for the Serpentine Galleries.

The Serpentine Pavilion designed by architect Diébédo Francis Kéré and opened on 23rd June is inspired by a large tree, which becomes a meeting point and whose branches offer a space beneath which to rest. In the same way, the pavilion designed by Kéré is an open volume, which offers a respite from London weather. The covering of this architectural tree is supported in the centre by a steel structure with a brise-soleil to protect from the sun and rain. For water, an extremely precious element in Africa, the architect has included a system to collect rainwater from the roof and filter it into an oculus with a striking waterfall effect, channelling the floor drainage system to irrigate the park. The pavilion is surrounded by wooden walls which become a source of illumination at night. Their blue colour is a tribute to traditional African dress.
The architect wanted to create a micro cosmos inspired by his African traditions and culture, using advanced, high-tech experimental building materials. As part of the spirit of sharing that led the project, events planned for Summer 2017, in July and August, includeRadical Kitchen, a picnic in the pavilion where the local community and local associations will share recipes and dishes to create a new sense of community.

(Agnese Bifulco)

Progetto: Diébédo Francis Kéré
Luogo: Kensington Gardens, Londra UK

Images courtesy of Serpentine Galleries, photo by Iwan Baan
Portraits Diébédo Francis Kéré by Erik Jan Ouwerkerk