Francis Kéré’s Serpentine Pavilion launches in London


The 2017 Pavilion of Serpentine Gallery, inspired by a curved sailboat that spreads out of a trunk of delicate steel columns, is modeled on the area under the trees, according to its architect Diébédo Francis Kéré, where people can choose To come together, or enter, in different ways. "

The pavilion reacts to the sylvan of the gallery in the Kensington Gardens of London, but was inspired by the shady gathering places of the desert village in Burkina Faso, where Kere grew up and where his studio in Berlin continues to work intensely.

With its rugged and sturdy walls, detached from a framed and Scottish roof, the structure recalls the buildings of the African community for which Kéré attracted attention while studying architecture. And although realized in a very different context, he successfully translates his concerns for "a sense of openness" - both social and spatial and experimental construction techniques used for both the economy and the effect .

"Experience" is the motto of the pavilion program, which was launched in 2000 to exhibit works built by international architects who had not yet completed a building in England. His brief only requests that a temporary structure should cover at least 3,230 square feet, accommodate a coffee and be able to accommodate various events. Since 2013, the emphasis has shifted from established figures (Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid and SANAA, to name a few) to emerging architects, and Kéré's As a catalyst for social interaction, according to art director of the gallery, Hans Ulrich Obrist. The selectors were particularly struck by Kéré's passion for narration and the desire to meet, says Yana Peel, CEO of Serpentine.

All the elements of the building are drawn in Kéré's stories, including the roof, which acts both to protect visitors from the elements and to register and celebrate changes of light and time. Formed like a shallow inverted cone, it is supported by 28 slender trusses that emerge from 14 columns of steel trusses clustered in a tight ring to define an oculus in the center of the pavilion. Rainwater is channeled through this opening to form a waterfall in the heart of the structure, where it lands on porous gravel and flows into underground storage tanks.





"In London you are spoiled," Kere said with a laugh of apologue. "You have everything and you do not even know it." Water is precious and I wanted to recognize this - not only symbolically, but in a real way. "The water stored in the reservoir of about 2,400 gallons Will be used to irrigate the park.

Below the translucent polycarbonate coating, a sunshade of fine wood slats is placed in rings of triangular leaf-aged panels, tilted to shade cast across the surface and tear stains of sunlight on the ground Concrete and four independent walls.

These deep blue snake screens are formed from 520 triangular blocks prefabricated from solid wood lengths of 3 "by 8". The angular cuts in the wood create faceted profiles on the exterior faces, bringing a pronounced texture and a varied brilliance, so that the play of light and shadow animates the dark mass of the walls. The choice of color refers to clothes dyed indigo to court calls to Gando, says Kéré. "If you come to a new place, you want to show your best side. I wanted to introduce myself - and my architecture - in blue." The textile allusion is developed further in the spaces between the blocks formed by their staggered edges, which produce chevron patterns in the facades as woven fabrics.

The light and breezes pass through these openings, and through the larger space between the walls and the roof, so that the visitors in the pavilion are always in touch with the climatic conditions. "The walls are open," says Kéré: "He breathes." At night, the glow of the electric light that passes through these gaps invites passers-by through the dark park as "a beacon of light," says the architect; "A symbol of narrative and togetherness".