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Burkina architect Kere honoured with UK pavilion project

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Published : 2017-02-22 14:58
Updated : 2017-02-22 14:58

Burkina Faso’s Diebedo Francis Kere will be the first African architect to design a temporary pavilion in London’s Hyde Park, a prestigious assignment given to a world-famous architect every year.

Kere’s design is inspired by a tree in his hometown of Gando that serves as “a central meeting point for life,” the Serpentine Galleries said in a statement.

“An expansive roof, supported by a central steel framework, mimics a tree’s canopy, allowing air to circulate freely while offering shelter against London rain and summer heat,” it read.

A handout computer-generated image released by the Serpentine Gallery on Tuesday shows the exterior design for the Serpentine Pavilion 2017 designed by Burkinabe architect Diebedo Francis Kere. (AFP-Yonhap)
Kere said he was interested in the contrast between the carefully landscaped park and “natural landscape as a harsh reality” in Burkina Faso.

He said it was conceived as “a community structure... that fuses cultural references of my home country... with experimental construction techniques.”

The Serpentine Pavilion 2017 by the Berlin-based practice Kere Architecture will be unveiled on June 23 and will be open until Oct. 8.

Previous architects of the Serpentine Pavilion include Zaha Hadid, Jean Nouvel and Frank Gehry, as well as Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei.

Kere has previously won plaudits for his project for a primary school in Burkina Faso and has held solo museum shows in Munich and Philadelphia.

He was also one of the architects behind Geneva’s International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum. (AFP)