Artist behind Serpentine temporary pavilion tried to ’embrace British climate’
This year’s temporary structure is inspired by a tree.
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.
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”.
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.