Francis Kéré, who heads Berlin-based practice Kéré Architecture and is originally from Burkina Faso, west Africa, is the 17th architect to take on the commission. The firm is presenting a futuristic baobab tree – a wooden disk atop a blue trunk. It is intended to reference the central tree in his home village, Gando.
'The tree was always the most important place in my village,' he says. 'It is where people come together under the shade of its branches to discuss – a place to decide matters, about love, about life. I want the pavilion to serve the same function: a simple open shelter to create a sense of freedom and community.'
The list of global starchitects who have designed for the Serpentine is phenomenal, and includes Zaha Hadid, Daniel Libeskind, Frank Gehry and Jean Nouvel as well as the artist Ai Weiwei. The annual commission has resulted in some of the most ambitious and creative architectural structures that London has seen, and each year we have come to expect the boundaries to be pushed back that little bit more.
Visitors are invited to use the pavilion in different ways, with it providing shelter from the summer heat – or, of course, the rain. The space will also be transformed into a venue for the Serpentine's annual series of commissions by emerging artists, Park Nights.
|What||Francis Kéré Serpentine Pavilion|
Kensington Gardens, London, W2 3XA | MAP
|Nearest tube||South Kensington (underground)|
23 Jun 17 – 08 Oct 17, Tuesday - Sunday and Bank holidays: 09:00 - 18:00
|Website||Click here for more information via the Serpentine Gallery|