Since its inaugural exhibition in 2000, Serpentine Galleries’ annual Pavilion has doubled as a who’s who of architecture’s contemporary elite, hosting temporary designs from Zaha Hadid, Oscar Niemeyer, Rem Koolhaas, Frank Gehry, Ryue Nishizawa, and Jean Nouvel, to name a few. This year, the gallery’s artistic director Hans Ulrich Obrist and CEO Yana Peel—with help from David Adjaye and Richard Rogers—welcome another star to its hallowed site in London’s Kensington Gardens: the award-winning architect Francis Kéré.
Francis Kéré’s High-Design Treehouse in London
For this year’s Serpentine Pavilion, the architect finds inspiration in his West African hometown of Gando.By Renata Mosci June 27, 2017
Known for his ecologically focused designs, it’s no surprise that Kéré’s structural concept for the urban setting found its inspiration in nature—specifically, a tree in his hometown of Gando, in West Africa’s Burkina Faso. “I am fascinated by how this artificial landscape offered a new way for people in the city to experience nature,” he says of the wood and steel structure, on view until October 8. Constructed with an open courtyard to allow the free flow of air, the Pavilion doubles as the stage for Serpentine’s Park Nights, where artists working in a range of mediums present site-specific work inspired by Kéré’s design.
Below, explore the last 17 years of Serpentine Pavilion designs—with the exception of 2004, when the gallery didn’t assign a commission.