CLAD people

Diébédo Francis Kéré

Principal Kéré Architecture


Read on turning pages | Download PDF | sign up to CLAD

This year’s Serpentine Pavilion, designed by Diébédo Francis Kéré, has been unveiled in London’s Hyde Park.

Speaking to CLAD, the architect said the high-profile commission had given him an “exciting opportunity to explore new ideas, new ways of shaping space, new materials and new ways of using materials.”

His pavilion, designed “to bring a sense of light and life” to the park, was inspired by the tree that serves as a central meeting point for life in his hometown of Gando, Burkina Faso.

To mimic the tree’s canopy, Kéré visualised an expansive timber roof supported by a central latticed steel framework, which allows air to circulate freely while offering shelter against London rain and summer heat.

An oculus funnels rainwater collected on the roof to create a waterfall effect into an open courtyard below, which is set above a hidden underground storage tank.

There are four separate entry points into the pavilion, and the structure’s bright indigo walls – formed of inverted wooden triangles – are angled so as to let daylight flood in.

“From the very start, it was always my idea to focus on the figure of the tree in the landscape, and design something around community gathering,” Kéré said. “We really pushed that concept as much as we could.”

The architect, who leads the Berlin-based practice Kéré Architecture, was chosen in part for his commitment to socially engaged and ecological design, and this is reflected in the programme of events taking place in the pavilion, including seminars exploring questions of community and rights to the city.

“Well designed public spaces, where we can all meet and come together, are the foundation of a healthy society,” he said. “The value [such spaces] give to a community cannot be measured by money, which is why it’s very important to think how we can create more.

“It’s amazing to see the diversity of people living here in London. It’s amazing if you can have structures that bring them all together.”

In a joint statement, Serpentine artistic director Hans Ulrich Obrist and CEO Yana Peel described the pavilion as “a space of conversation, collaboration and exchange.”

Technical consultant David Glover, fabrication firm Stage One and engineers AECOM collaborated with the Kéré team on the project, which remains open until 8 October 2017.

The Serpentine Pavilion programme, which began in 2000 with a structure created by the late Zaha Hadid, sees an architect who has never built in the UK create a temporary summer structure in the park’s Kensington Gardens. Herzog & de Meuron, Jean Nouvel, Sou Fujimoto, SANAA and Bjarke Ingels Group are among the international architects to have previously taken part.

Gallery
Click on an image to open the image gallery
latest jobs
company profile
Company profile: Barr + Wray Ltd
Founded in 1959, Barr + Wray is recognised as a world-leading provider of spa design, engineering and pool+ spa equipment.
Try cladmag for free!
Sign up with CLAD to receive our regular ezine, instant news alerts, free digital subscriptions to CLADweek, CLADmag and CLADbook and to request a free sample of the next issue of CLADmag.
sign up
features
The Vault Door leads to The Ned’s members’ club, housed in the former bank strongroom
Lund has worked as a designer for Soho House since 2014. She co-led the design of The Ned
"My favourite part of the building is the original bank vault, in the belly of the building. It once stored gold bullion deposits of £335m"

On the challenges of creating The Ned

A bronze mesh allows sound energy to reach the hall’s walls, improving the acoustics
"It’s a privilege to have completed a scheme of such importance to the cultural identity of Antwerp - Stuart Mills"

SimsponHaugh’s latest project

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
features
The Tsingpu Yangzhou Retreat has 20 guest rooms
Rossana Hu studied at the University of California at Berkeley, where she met Lyndon Neri
"Interior projects carried out by architects have a depth that’s generally lacking today"

Neri & Hu’s latest project

The aim is to promote sport via learning and engagement
"Whenever you’re looking at it, the elevation is running away from you, so it never looks quite as big as it really is "

FaulknerBrowns’ Dutch sports facility

features
Adriaan Geuze
"The profile of landscape architecture has been raised by international cities competing with one another"

How the West 8 founder is using the healing power of nature on a Korean site with a turbulent history

The footprint of the building was defined by the triangular shape of the site, says MacEwen
DMAC’s Dwayne MacEwen
"The hotel concept came late in the game, but it was an inspired idea"

The newly renovated Chicago Midtown Athletic Club features a boutique hotel, a pool-come-ice rink and spaces designed by Venus Williams

Clarity
"We want to create the illusion that guests are entering another world when they arrive at the resort"

An Icelandic spa retreat inspired by surrealist folk tales

cladkit product news
Ben van Berkel launches UNSense startup to boost health and wellbeing in built environments
Kim Megson
Dutch architect Ben van Berkel and his design firm UNStudio have launched a tech startup to “improve the health and ...
Hotel Crescent Court opens new spa following multi-million-dollar renovation
Hotel Crescent Court has reopened its spa after a multi-million dollar refurbishment
Lauren Heath-Jones
Hotel Crescent Court, a luxury hotel in Dallas, Texas, has reopened its spa and fitness centre after completing a multi-million-dollar ...
London's new pollution-eating living wall has air purifying power of 275 trees
CityTree is a living wall that reduces particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide in the air by 30 per cent
Lauren Heath-Jones
The Crown Estate, a London-based commercial real estate company, has partnered with Westminster City Council and cleantech specialist Evergen Systems ...
cladkit product news
Kvorning wins contest to design aquaculture exhibit at Norway's Coastal Museum
The exhibition explores the history of Norway's fish-farming industry dating back to 1970
Lauren Heath-Jones
Copenhagen-based design studio Kvorning Design and Norwegian advertising agency Vindfang have won a competition, organised by Museums in Sør Trøndelag ...
Dornbracht debuts Rainmoon wellness shower concept at  Salone del Mobile
Rainmoon is a multi-sensory wellness experience designed to revitalise and reinvigorate the user
Lauren Heath-Jones
Dornbracht, a German-based luxury bathroom specialist, has launched an innovative new shower experience, Rainmoon. Slated as the next generation of ...
Parkside opens flagship Chelsea showroom
The showroom is designed to inspire its clients
Lauren Heath-Jones
Parkside, a designer of contemporary porcelain and ceramic tiles, has opened its first showroom in the UK. Located in Chelsea ...
cladkit product news
Empex Watertoys partners with Singapore architecture firm on new splash park
Buds is a new splash park that caters to children aged 12 and under
Lauren Heath-Jones
Empex Watertoys has partnered with Singapore landscape architecture firm Playpoint Singapore Pte to create Buds, an exciting new splash park ...
Bright Buildings to create UK's first 'open sky' swimming pool
Bright Buildings will create the retractable roof for the Open Sky pool at Ivybridge Leisure Centre
Lauren Heath-Jones
Leisure operator Fusion Lifestyle has announced that it will invest millions of pounds over the course of the next three ...