New Serpentine Pavilion by Francis Kéré

Serpentine Pavilion 2017 , designed by Francis Kéré, photo: ©IwanBaan
Serpentine Pavilion 2017 , designed by Francis Kéré, photo: ©IwanBaan

Architectural highlight of the summer – the new Serpentine Pavilion in London

Designed this year by Berlin-based Francis Kéré, the Pavilion is an open structure, beautifully crafted out of wood and steel into ornamental patterns. Kéré’s architecture is always aware of natural elements – in London it plays with water, while also adding African inspired textures to the landscape of Kensington Gardens. Like a tree, thin steel branches support the roof canopy and allow light fall through.

Video clip from press launch, © Glen Travis

Serpentine Pavilion 2017, designed by Francis Kéré.
Serpentine Pavilion 2017, designed by Francis Kéré. Serpentine Gallery, © Kéré Architecture, Photography © 2017 Iwan Baan

In his native Burkina Faso Kéré became known for socially meaningful projects, involving locals in the building works. He was also one of the architects exhibiting at Sensing Spaces at the Royal Academy in 2014, where his tunnel design was customised with colourful plastic straws pinned by visitors. At Serpentine Kéré, the maverick storyteller, will connect and collaborate with the public through events and discussions.

Francis Kéré in London at opening of Serpentine Pavilion 2017, photo ©GlenTravis
Francis Kéré in London at the opening of Serpentine Pavilion 2017, photography ©GlenTravis

Kéré is a leading architect and cultural figure, who no doubt will inspire the next generation of designers with his ecological approach, which pays attention to natural ephemeral materials – how water, light and wind affect and underpin the design concept. The new Pavilion is a place where people can experience his vision in real time. That is the great aspect of the Summer Pavilions, that visitors can explore and interact with architecture and new influential ideas.

Serpentine Summer Pavilion 23 June – 8 October 2017