Wednesday 13 December 2017

Artist behind Serpentine temporary pavilion tried to ’embrace British climate’

This year’s temporary structure is inspired by a tree.

The gallery design by designer Francis Kere during the press view of Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2017, at the Serpentine Gallery in Kensington Gardens, London.
The gallery design by designer Francis Kere during the press view of Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2017, at the Serpentine Gallery in Kensington Gardens, London.

By Sherna Noah, Senior Entertainment Correspondent

The Serpentine has unveiled this year’s temporary pavilion – a structure inspired by a tree.

Diebedo Francis Kere, an architect originally from Burkina Faso, in west Africa, designed the 2017 structure on the Serpentine grounds.

He was “inspired by the tree that serves as a central meeting point for life” in the village of Gando, where he was born.

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An expansive roof, supported by a central steel framework, mimics a tree’s canopy.

When it rains, water on the roof drains into a waterfall effect and can be used later to irrigate nearby parkland.

The architect, the 17th to design a temporary pavilion on the Serpentine’s grounds, has attempted to embrace “the British climate, creating a structure that engages with the ever-changing London weather”.

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He said that he wanted to fuse his experience of “growing up in a remote desert village” with experimental construction techniques and is “fascinated by how this artificial landscape offered a new way for people in the city to experience nature.

“In Burkina Faso, I am accustomed to being confronted with climate and natural landscape as a harsh reality,” he said.

The Serpentine Pavilion serves as a cafe by day and a forum for entertainment, debate and learning at night and is open from June 23 to October 8.

Press Association

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