Serpentine Pavilion trip 2017
Last week the Conran and Partners team headed over to London’s Kensington Gardens to explore this year’s Serpentine Pavilion designed by African Architect, Diébédo Francis Kéré.
Inspired by Kéré’s home town of Gando, his Pavilion design seeks to connect its visitors to nature and each other, by referencing the tree that serves as a central meeting point for life in the village where he grew up. An extensive roof, supported by a central steel framework, echoes a tree’s canopy, allowing air to circulate whilst offering shelter against rain and summer heat.
A wide opening in the canopy sits in the middle of the pavilion, creating an direct connection to nature. When rain falls, the roof becomes a funnel channelling water into the heart of the structure. This rain collection is a metaphor, highlighting water as a essential resource for human survival.
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.
Diébédo Francis Kéré