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The Serpentine Gallery, situated in Hyde Park, is one of the main place for modern and contemporary art in London. Every year, since 2000, Serpentine invites an international architect (who has not made any project in the UK) to design the temporary Summer Pavilion, open to the public for free from June to October.
After the Danish studio BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group, do not miss the Bjarke Ingels episode in the docu-series Abstract on Netflix, this year Serpentine invited the African architect Francis Diébédo Kéré.
The project brings together Western architecture with African tradition and it’s inspired by trees of Burkina Faso, the birthplace of the architect. The structure will be characterized by a open ‘courtyard’, where visitors can enjoy the sunny days but in case of rain, it will be transformed into a spectacular waterfall, before the water will drain through a drainage system for the park irrigation. Like every year they expect more than 250,000 visitors, many events and performances.
The story of Francis Diébédo Kéré is beautiful: born in Gando in Burkina Faso in 1965, he was the first child of his village to go to school. As there was no school in the village at 7 years he went to the city where he became a carpenter. Thanks to a scholarship he went to Germany for an apprenticeship and then he went on to study architecture in Berlin. In 2004 he graduated and in the same year completed its first project: the first school in Gando, his village, winning the prestigious Aga Khan Award for Architecture.
Among other projects Kéré designed the Camper temporary store at Vitra Museum (2015):
Last year in Milan he designed also the installation in the Palazzo Litta courtyard during the Fuorisalone:
Here are some of the most famous architects who designed the Serpentine Pavilion: Zaha Hadid (2000), Oscar Niemeyer (2003), Alvaro Siza e Eduardo Suoto de Moura (2005), Rem Koolhaas (2006), Frank Gehry (2008), Ai Weiwei and Herzog & de Meuron (2012), Sou Fjumoto (2013), BIG (2016).