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
company profile
Company profile: FaulknerBrowns Architects
The design service we offer extends from initial feasibility studies through all the design stages to completion of the building on site, leading the design team and co-ordinating and managing the client and contractor teams.
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 BIG U high water barrier is 16km long, and incorporates community facilities
Kai-Uwe Bergmann
"BIG U is us starting the foundation work for a future resilient city."

The 'BIG culture ambassador' on the BIG U

The 85m-high sloped roof at the Amager Resource Center doubles as a ski slope
Brian Yang
"You can be an intern on your first day and be expected to contribute to the design conversation. That’s something driven strongly by Bjarke."

How the idea of putting a ski slope on a factory roof was born

The city will feature a huge range of cultural, sporting, retail and leisure facilities
Andreas Klok Pedersen
"I say no more than yes. You need both sides – people presenting ideas and people not afraid to say if the idea isn’t good."

Discovering new talent and saying no

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
features
The towers’ punched window openings reference the area’s historic industrial buildings
Thomas Christoffersen
"We were rooted in the traditions of Danish design, but inspired by what was happening elsewhere."

On the journey from being Bjarke Ingels' first intern to BIG partner

The Panda House features separate spaces for the male and female pandas
David Zahle
"I realised we’d created an environment where it was more about talent and trust than how much experience you had."

Designing the Panda House for Copenhagen Zoo

Assemble built a pop up theatre in Southhampton, UK, inspired by the city’s passion for football
"Architecture is finally sloughing off its obsession with eternity"

Celebrating ephemeral architecture

features
Marcel Wanders leads a multidisciplinary team of 40. The studio is based in Amsterdam
"I want to create things that show my love, my respect, my interest in the world"

The Dutch designer embraces chaos

The three cultural organisations are set around a flexible public space
Jakob Sand
"Maybe a project ends up looking like a BIG building, but there’s no blueprint. If you have a good idea, we will look at it, whether you’re an intern or a partner."

On BIG's French adventure

cladkit product news
Ma Yansong debuts out of this world furniture collection
Ma Yansong was inspired by science fiction and the possibility of life on Mars
Lauren Heath-Jones
Curation-led design gallery Gallery ALL debuted the MAD Martian Collection at Design Miami. Designed by Ma Yansong, founder and principal ...
RIBA North announces winter lineup
RIBA North opens its new season with the Cerámica exhibition
Lauren Heath-Jones
The RIBA North architectural centre in Liverpool, UK, has announced its lineup of events and exhibitions for the winter season. ...
HawkinsBrown complete timber pool facility for 'swimming among the trees'
The space has been designed as 'a welcoming retreat that engages with the mature woodland setting through the use of natural materials and colour schemes'
Kim Megson
Architects HawkinsBrown have completed an elegant timber pool hidden among the trees for a school in the English county of ...
cladkit product news
Rockin' around the Christmas tree: Lasvit partners with the Upper House hotel and Yabu Pushelberg for bespoke Christmas project
The tree is designed to greet guests with a design and light experience as they enter the hotel
Lauren Heath-Jones
Lasvit has partnered with design firm Yabu Pushelberg to create a bespoke Christmas tree for The Upper House, a boutique ...
FAÇADE2017 winners
Ramboll was awarded for the Blavatnik Building, Switchouse Extension of the Tate Moder
Lauren Heath-Jones
A trio of British leisure facilities have been honoured in the Façade2017 awards. Established in 2013 by the Society of ...
Brdr. Krüger to exhibit at IMM Cologne
The Theodor chair was named after studio co-founder Theodor Krüger
Lauren Heath-Jones
Danish furniture company Brdr. Krüger will showcase a range of new and existing pieces at international interiors show, IMM Cologne. ...
cladkit product news
Matteo Thun Atelier create hospitality collection inspired by Mediterranean atmosphere
The collection is designed to integrate with numerous architecture and interior projects across the hospitality sector
Kim Megson
The studio of Italian architect and designer Matteo Thun have produced a new range of wooden furniture designed for everything ...
AB Concept partners with House of Tai Ping for luxurious rug collection
The collection was inspired by the idea of looking down at the world from a great height
Lauren Heath-Jones
Design house AB Concept has partnered with bespoke rug specialist Tai Ping to create Nephele, an exclusive line of handcrafted ...